Samples 2016 Le Mans Special Edition - Page 134

WE FEEL FOR TOYOTA F rom midnight the duel between Porsche and Toyota for the 24 hour Le Mans race win had intensified but no-one would have expected such an ending. Before the final lap, Toyota seemed to be coming out on top but then the prototype stopped on track. One lap later it was the number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) that took the chequered flag first in front of some of the 263,000 spectators that attended the event. It was the same trio that had achieved the maiden win for the 662 kW (900 PS) prototype in 2014 in Brazil. The success is the 18th overall victory for Porsche at the world’s hardest car race. One of the most eligible trophies on the globe will be homed for the second consecutive year at Porsche’s head quarters because the company came as record holder and title defender. The pace at the front in the duel with the Japanese manufacturer and the many lead changes pushed everyone to the limit and beyond. Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, witnessed it from the team’s garage: “What happened in Le Mans is almost incomprehensible. From the first to the last lap this race was competition on the ultimate level in terms of sport and technology – and it was thrilling as well. The race asked the utmost from our cars, our drivers and the team. We always were either in the lead or in striking distance of Toyota. We were fighting until the end and never gave up. This spirit was rewarded in the end. We have the greatest respect for Toyota.”