For those unfamiliar with the competition, 24 Hours of Le Mans, as the name suggests, is a 24-hour driving championship that tests endurance, skill and speed. For those interested in the history of the championship, a detailed post here.
Held at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France, the 24 Hours of Le Mans involves drivers participating in teams of 3 and taking turns to navigate and complete laps of the 13.692km long track.
With a new rolling start, the modern day iteration of the 24 Hours of Le Mans classes the car that has completed the most laps the winner. In addition, regulation requires cars to have completed 70% of the distance of the overall winner.
Qualification at the 24 Hours of Le Mans has concluded. The Porsche team, comprising Romain Dumas of France, Neel Jani of Switzerland and Germany’s Marc Lieb is in the lead, driving a Porsche 919 Hybrid.
Porsche is thundering ahead of other teams at the Endurance championship, with second place at qualifying going to the Porsche team of Australian Formula One legend and 9-time winner Mark Webber and teammates Brendon Hartley of New Zealand and Timo Bernhard of Germany, driving the same car – a Porsche 919 Hybrid – as the Dumas/Jani/Lieb team.
Dumas and team finished the 2014 edition of Le Mans in 4th place. Webber’s team, however, although running at the finish, were thirty-three laps behind, and ended the race ‘not classified’. Porsche hybrids had a strong year then, and this trend looks to be continuing this year as well, with the top 3 qualifiers at the 2015 24 Hours all in Porsche 919 Hybrids.
In third at the end of qualifying is the Porsche team of F1 Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany, Briton Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber of New Zealand. Hulkenberg made his World Endurance Championship debut this year for Porsche with the WEC at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.