Sunday, 14 June 2015

Porsche wins 24 Hours of Le Mans, ending Audi's five-year winning streak

Porsche has just unseated Audi atop the
endurance racing throne. Well, for a year at
least. The #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid won the 24
Hours of Le Mans today, ending Audi's streak
of five consecutive wins at the legendary
endurance race in France. Audi has completely
dominated the race for years, with an Audi
vehicle winning thirteen of the last fifteen
races. But Porsche, now with a record 17 wins
at Le Mans, returned to the sport just last year,
and it came home with the checkered flag this
time, the 83rd running of the race. Porsche last
won in 1998.
The #19 Porsche crossed the line with German
Formula One driver Nico Hulkenberg at the
wheel. British driver Nick Tandy and New
Zealand's Earl Bamber joined him for the race
win. The #17 Porsche, headlined by former
Formula One driver Mark Webber, and the #7
Audi R18 e-tron quattro came in second and
third, respectively.
The Porsches and Audis gave each other stiff
competition over the course of the race. The
Porsches showed incredible qualifying pace —
a third Porsche entrant took pole position with
the fastest-ever lap on the circuit's current
layout. All three Porsches started up front,
followed by the Audis. The question was
whether the Porsches could show the
endurance in addition to the outright speed to
beat the Audis. The lead switched back and
forth between the manufacturers over the
course of the race, but it was the Audis that
were uncharacteristically held back by
reliability issues, ultimately leading to a
number of unscheduled pit stops.
The third-place #7 Audi finished two laps
behind the winner, and a lap behind the
second-place #17 Porsche.


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