Porsche wins 24 Hours of Le Mans 2017

Posted by Christopher Chaves at 09:44 am on Monday June 19, 2017

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Having lost 65 minutes in the pits for repairs in the first quarter of the race, after suffering a front motor generator unit/hybrid system problem, the Porsche No.2 car made a remarkable comeback to go on and win the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans. With the win, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber both secured their second win at Le Mans, while Brendon Hartley registered his first, and the double points gained for the race win see the trio move into the lead of the FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship by 11 points over the No.8 Toyota crew.

Audi’s withdrawal from the WEC did dull things down a bit this year with just two teams battling for top honours in the LMP1 category, but this year’s 24-hour endurance race in France had didn’t fall short of high-stakes drama. Who could forget Toyota’s wretched luck last season where the lead No.5 car came to a heart-breaking halt on the last lap of the race. This time around, Toyota's wait for an elusive Le Mans 24 Hours win was set to continue for another year following yet another disastrous night where both the No.7 and No.9 cars retired within 20 minutes of one another – the first with a clutch problem and the latter following a collision with an LMP2 car.

The No.8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid was the only other LMP1 car to finish the race, after Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima staged a fightback after a similar front motor problem (to the Porsche No.2) which occurred just before the 8-hour mark. They came from almost two hours behind to finish 9th overall and 7th in the WEC points standings, setting a new fastest lap of the race (3:18.604) en route to the finish. Porsche’s No.1 919 was holding a commanding lead over all the other competitors when André Lotterer pulled over at the side of the track in the 21st hour with an engine problem.

Finishing second overall was the No.38 Jackie Chan, DC Racing of Ho-Pin Tung, Thomas Laurent and Oliver Jarvis. The British-run, Chinese-entered team was the only LMP2 team to have two finishers in the top ten – the second, No.37 entry of team owner David Cheng, Tristan Gommendy and Alex Brundle finishing 4th. 19-year-old Thomas Laurent’s first stint in Le Mans saw him take home a good haul of trophies. Ho-Pin Tung made history by becoming the first Chinese driver to mount the top step of the Le Mans podium. The Frenchman was at the top of the timesheets for two hours after the No.1 Porsche retired, the first LMP2 car in history to lead at Le Mans. The trio is now 3rd in the FIA World Endurance Drivers Championship with 50 points.

The No.13 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca O7 of Nelson Piquet Jr, Mathias Beche and David Heinemeier Hansson came home third.

There was also just one Indian on the circuit this year - Karun Chandhok, who made his return to Le Mans after a one-year absence. The Tockwith Motorsports driver and his team got their No.34 Ligier JS P217 across the line in a creditable 12th overall and 10th in the LMP2 category.

TAGS// porsche, le mans, karun chandok, wec, toyota gazoo racing, 24 hours of le mans, porsche 919 hybrid, lmp2, lmp1

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