WEC 24 Hours of Le Mans – Race
Strong performance by the two Porsche 919 Hybrids but no dream ending
After a strong performance by both 919 Hybrids the Porsche Team was left empty handed after a dramatic final stage of the race. After more than 22 hours the LMP1 crew of car no. 20 (Timo Bernhard/Brendon Hartley/Mark Webber) suffered a powertrain problem at the most famous endurance race in the world. Earlier in the race the car was leading for a significant period. The second innovative and highly complex prototype – in the hands of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb – likewise proved to be very competitive, but was hampered by a drivetrain problem. However, their no. 14 car crossed the finish line under its own power.
After a thrilling start to the race with changing weather conditions, numerous accidents and a relatively calm night, Timo Bernhard took the lead in the Porsche 919 Hybrid. This was after 20 of the 24 hours. At 12:36 on Sunday he handed the leading car over to Mark Webber. Less than 20 minutes later the Australian was forced to slow down and drove solely on electric power back to the pits. The team could not repair the damaged powertrain.
Not even half an hour later, the sister car with Marc Lieb at the wheel had a gearbox failure. Car no. 14 was lying fourth before it was pushed into the garage at 12:54. Shortly before the chequered flag was waived, the Porsche 919 Hybrid returned to track but in the end was not classified.
“That was tough for everyone,” Mark said after getting out of the car. “It would have been such an amazing achievement to go through to the finish. I think we never expected to be in such a great position towards the end of the race. What Porsche did is a very big feather in its cap. Few people know how hard it is to get the cars to this point in the race. I’m really sorry for the guys. There is never ever a good retirement in Le Mans, but today is one of the best you could probably have in a way, because we went so far and we learned so much. If you stop early you learn nothing and it’s tough. When you stop with a lap to go it’s probably even more brutal. It was our first time here at Le Mans and we were very close to the podium.“
John Sullivanon June 15, 2014 Reply
Awesome effort to get that far on returning to Le Mans.
peteron June 15, 2014 Reply
fantastic effort, Porsche will be back!!!
Dumitruon June 17, 2014 Reply
Sure, PORSCHE is the ONE who win everything! Porsche still has that abilities like in old days!
Patrickon June 15, 2014 Reply
Awesome performance and I really cannot wait to see the next Le Mans race. I watched most of the race through from the on board camera perspective, the noise, the speed it is just amazing what the Porsche racing team put together. Too bad you guys didn’t cross the finish line but still something to be very proud of.
jackie mccreanoron June 15, 2014 Reply
Better luck next time markk and all of team porsche
Michael Baldwinon June 15, 2014 Reply
Well done to the whole team,so close…
Andrew Robertsonon June 16, 2014 Reply
Well done to the team and yourself, for a fantastic weekend of racing. Absolutely gripping to watch and it was very nearly an amazing result. So close. But not so far. Porsche are Back in a big way it seems and your driving was impeccable. Looking forward to your next drive. Webber UP!
Wendyon June 16, 2014 Reply
Congratulations on a really strong race. So sorry it didn’t quite work out for you all.
Dave Smithon June 16, 2014 Reply
Awesome job Mark and team……..we have a S Vettel here wondering if there is a job going!!
Mark Morganon June 16, 2014 Reply
Porsche failed to win Le Mans with the 917 first time out. I seem to remember it being quite good at winning everything after that, bar the odd Targa Florio.
Nick Warrenon June 17, 2014 Reply
Hey guys, well done! I know it’s really gotta hurt plenty to not finish, but I guess that’s endurance racing. It was really great to watch and I am sure that you will be back even more determined next year!
Julieon June 17, 2014 Reply
Was there at the track for the whole 24 hours cheering you on all the way. Was totally gutted when the car failed & sorry mark but I shed a few tears. Amazing effort & look forward to being there & supporting you all the way next year x x
Duncan Smithon June 18, 2014 Reply
What a great effort. I was there at Le Mans following the commentary at Porsche curves, when Mark drove by only using electric power, it was truly depressing. Well I will return next year to Le Mans.
Harryon June 21, 2014 Reply
Terrific performance by Mark and the whole Porsche team! Perhaps with further development of the 919 car, increased reliability and a bit more luck Porsche can succeed at Le Mans in 2015.
Donon June 25, 2014 Reply
Good on you Mark! Hope you have better luck next race!