The track record so far: 19 overall victories and 108 class wins
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Passion for Le Mans
No other automotive manufacturer is as closely linked to the world’s most famous endurance race as Porsche. Porsche race cars have taken part every year since the first class victory was achieved on the debut outing with a 34 kW (46 PS) 356 SL in 1951. The overall result of this passion: 19 overall wins and over 100 class victories – both clear records. Le Mans places unique demands on both technology and people. The fastest race cars cover a distance of around 17 Formula 1 Grands Prix in 24 hours on the high-speed track. Le Mans means driving at the limit for an unforgivingly long time, extreme braking manoeuvres, as well as crazy weather with heat, rain, night-time fog banks. Porsche traditionally competes with technically avant-garde solutions. From the first turbo engine in Le Mans 1974 to the first turbo victory two years later. From the aerodynamic ground effect revolution in the race in 1982, the Porsche Doppelkupplung dual-clutch transmission in 1985 and the first all-wheel-drive race car in Le Mans in 1986 through to the latest hat-trick in the years 2015 to 2017 with the 660 kW (900 PS) Porsche 919 Hybrid. Whether with 34 or 660 kW – behind the success story in Le Mans is the philosophy that each individual Porsche is characterised by maximum performance, efficiency and reliability.
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Class victories - Winner in all classes
Le Mans is unique. There is the track length of 13.6 kilometres with four straights – each as long as the longest straight in Formula 1. Then there is the race distance. And the starting field: around 55 cars compete in the marathon sprint every year. The fastest cars – usually specially developed prototypes – fight for the overall victory. Depending on displacement and technical design, sports cars and Gran Turismo race cars also compete in additional classes. Porsche holds a record here as well with 108 successes. The story of the race cars from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen in Le Mans started with a series of class victories of the 1.1 to 1.6-litre Porsche cars in the years 1951 to 1958. The factory and customer teams repeatedly drove to decisive victories. The 917, 908, 911 and 914 won all classes in 1970; this feat was repeated in 1982 with the 956, 935, 934 and 924. After the first class victory of a Porsche 911 in 1966, the sports car icon regularly finished in the leading positions, above all among the near-production race cars. The Porsche GT Team celebrated the most recent class victory with the 911 RSR in 2018.