24 HOURS OF LE MANS PRESS RELEASE
Rain threatened near the end of the twice around the clock endurance classic, but it didn’t dampen the resolve of the No. 19 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid shared by Earl Bamber, Nick Tandy and Nico Hülkenberg who took victory for Porsche. It was the first Le Mans win for all three drivers, while Bamber and Hülkenberg were both rookies!
Their sister car, the No. 17 wheeled by Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley were right behind them in second. Audi still made the podium; defending race winners Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer were third in the No. 7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
After a dominating performance, the No. 47 KCMG Oreca 05 – Nissan piloted by Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley and Nicolas Lapierre win the LM P2 category. It is the first win for a Chinese team at the legendary Le Mans race. The defending race winners, No. 38 Jota Sport and their Gibson 015S – Nissan driven by Simon Dolan, Mitch Evans and Oliver Turvey, crossed the line in second. G-Drive Racing’s No. 26 Ligier JS P2 – Nissan was third with teammates Roman Rusinov, Julien Canal and Sam Bird.
The train horn blared as the No. 64 Corvette Racing C7.R driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor crossed the finish line at the head of the LM GTE Pro field. Ferraris completed the podium. The No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia finished second in the hands of Davide Rigon, James Calado and Olivier Beretta. The No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia belonging to Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella was third.
It seems there’s always a heartbreak in the closing hour at Le Mans and this year that moment belonged to the No. 98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage, which had led the LM GTE Am class for the majority of the race. On the out lap, after his final pit stop, driver Paul Dalla Lana crashed heavily into the wall at the Ford Chicane, ending that team’s day 45 minutes before the finish.
As a result, the No. 72 SMP Racing Ferrari 458 Italia of Victor Shaytar, Andrea Bertolini and Aleksei Basov took the win. They were followed by a fan favorite: the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR driven by Patrick Long, Marco Seefried and former Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey who finally gets the Le Mans podium he so desperately desired. The all-American team, No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia driven by Jeff Segal, Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler finished third.