Porsche has a rather long and eventful history with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, having won the race outright 16 times over the years – more than any other automaker.
But the stakes for Porsche Motorsport have grown steadily higher ever since Audi began competing at Le Mans in 1999, while Porsche was made to withdraw. In Audi’s 16 Le Mans appearances since entering the realm of FIA World Endurance Championship racing, it has won a staggering 13 times.
Porsche Motorsport, meanwhile, had no choice but to watch from the sidelines – a mighty contender forced to retire so as to not pose a threat to its sister brand. Last year, finally, Porsche was allowed to compete at Le Mans once again, settling for a very disappointing 11th place finish in the venerable 919 Hybrid race car (5th in class).
This year, Porsche Motorsport looks better poised to rise to the challenge posed by sister brand Audi, and yet so far this season, the team has failed to nab a 1st place finish. Should Porsche fail to win Le Mans again this year, forfeiting the victory to Audi, Porsche will be that much closer to losing its monumental record at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Certainly, the battle in France this weekend will be epic.