IT MAY RUN OVER 24 HOURS,

Car (South Africa) - - SPEED -

but th­ese days Le Mans is an out-and­out sprint race. In the last 10 years, the win­ner has dis­tanced the losers by a time frame of sec­onds rather than min­utes. Any sec­onds lost in that pit box on a change of tyres or re­fuel can end up cost­ing the race, and that means that ev­ery con­trib­u­tor to that team ef­fort – from the driver and the pit crew, to the team pro­vid­ing the sus­te­nance – must bring their A-game.

At the in­vi­ta­tion of Porsche, we at­tended the 85th run­ning of this most fa­mous of mo­tor­sport events. By now, you will no doubt know the re­sult and the drama that played out through­out the night and dur­ing the fol­low­ing day. For our host, Le Mans was once again a highly sat­is­fac­tory en­deav­our, with the num­ber-two Porsche 919 Hy­brid com­ing back from 65th place to win the LMP1 cat­e­gory, giv­ing the car a hat-trick of wins and Porsche its 19th over­all vic­tory at the Sarthe cir­cuit. The new 911 RSR was less suc­cess­ful in the GT Pro cat­e­gory, with one car crash­ing out and the other com­ing home fourth. Not a win, but given its un­tried stature, a good start.

This, then, is not the story of the race, but a spot­light on a few key in­di­vid­u­als who are part of the broader Porsche World En­durance Cham­pi­onship team (Le Mans is round three of the WEC).

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