Porsche Returns to Le Mans – NYTimes.com


Porsche Returns to Le Mans – NYTimes.com

As car manufacturers have come and gone from the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in recent years, there have been historic moments, highs and lows, winners and losers. But there has not been any bigger news lately than the return of Porsche this year to the race it once dominated like no other manufacturer.

With 16 victories at the highest level of the race, Porsche is the record holder at Le Mans. But it now has the challenge of returning to the scene of its greatest successes to take on the new master of the world’s most grueling endurance race. During the 16 years of Porsche’s absence, Audi has won almost every race, with a total of 12 victories — plus one by Bentley, which was basically a disguised Audi car.

It is thanks to its illustrious history that Porsche — although it, too, is connected to Audi under the Volkswagen ownership — is returning to the highest level of endurance racing. It had long sought a return to a major auto racing series, and had for a while considered joining Formula One.

“As everyone knows, with all of the history of Porsche at Le Mans, Le Mans belongs to Porsche, and Porsche belongs to Le Mans,” said Andreas Seidl, director of the new Porsche racing team. “So at this point, along with the new regulations, it was the perfect opportunity to return. With the clear focus of developing powerful hybrid systems, combined with this clear target of maximum efficiency, is something that is very interesting for Porsche. Because we see also that we can develop new systems that we can later on develop into the road cars as well.”

via Porsche Returns to Le Mans – NYTimes.com.

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