What better way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Porsche 911 sports car then by taking home its 100th class victory at the most recent Le Mans 24 Hours on June 22, 2013. This past weekend, the 24 hours of Le Mans brought many successes for the team including a double victory in the LMGTE Pro category and a LMGTE Am win. An all-American trio that included Hollywood actor Patrick Dempsey (his first Le Mans race) finished a solid 4th in the Amateur class too.
The GTE-Pro class win of Dumas/Lieb/Lietz in the 911 RSR and the GTE-Am class win of Narrac/Bourret/Vernay in the 911 GT3 RSR brought Porsche's continued success to 99 and 100 class wins in motorsports. This makes Porsche the team to beat, attaining twice the victories in half the time.
"With the 99th and 100th class win and the double victory of the new 911 RSR, this Le Mans 24 hour race was a magnificent success for Porsche. I very much congratulate all those who have contributed. Our joy, however, is also mixed with sadness and shock at the death of Allan Simonsen. We have not only lost a passionate racer, but also a good friend of the Porsche motorsport family. He contested his first Le Mans 24 Hours in 2007 with a Porsche. With our works driver Marc Lieb in 2005, he contested two races of the Le Mans Endurance Series in a Porsche as well. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family as well as the Aston Martin squad and his teammates at this difficult time," stated Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG.
Both 911 RSRs drove an almost flawless race, with no major technical problems and pit stops only used for routine refueling, tire and driver changes. The #92 911 RSR moved up the field early on in the race and fought hard for victory till the end. The #91 911 RSR had a slight issue with a fellow competitor nudging the rear taillight, resulting in its replacement. And even in the final hours the #91 car made a bold move into second place, passing the Aston Martin and Ferrari. Considering this is the third outing for the 911 RSR at the World Endurance Championship, the results are quite impressive.
Marc Lieb (No. 92): "It's a fairytale. To win Le Mans at our first attempt with a new RSR is something we never expected in our wildest dreams. I'm incredibly proud of my teammates and the entire crew that turned the 911 RSR into a winning car at Le Mans in such a short time."
Despite typical rainy Le Mans conditions, the GT3 RSRs completed the race with minimal error. Unfortunately for Le Mans first timer Patrick Dempsey in the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton 911 GT3 RSR, he was shunted off the field by a sports prototype. If it weren't for this mishap, this all-American team might have scored the victory for the GTE-Am class.
Patrick Dempsey (No. 77): "We were competitive the entire race. This is really what you want to be, Patrick [Long] did a great job on his opening stint, Joe [Foster] was incredible in what seemed like every session of his in the rain, and our Porsche from Proton Competition was perfectly prepared. It was just a great race, we came up just a little short on the podium, but we will reach that goal soon enough. We had a great time."