With 16 wins to their name Porsche is, without question, the most successful marque to have put rubber-to-tarmac through the hallowed bends of the Circuit de la Sarthe. The works team has been absent from the great race for a few years, but is heading back in 2014.
Porsche took their first overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970, marking the end of a four-year winning streak for Ford and the GT40. Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood drove the absolutely stunning 917 to victory, followed by another 917 and a 908??-??the first of many podium lockouts for Porsche. 917s and 936s would win the race five times in the 70s, but it wasn???t until the awesome 80s that the Porsche racers cemented their positions as legends.
1981 was the first of a seven-year long winning streak in which Porsche absolutely dominated the race. Le Mans legends Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell won it in a 936 before returning in 1982 with a 956 and doing it again. From ???82 to ???87 the 956/962 was unbeatable, often occupying every spot on the podium along with most positions in the top ten just for good measure.
The Porsche works teams took a break after winning the 1998 race, leaving Audi to pick up where they left off and become the masters of the modern race. I???m looking forward to watching the closely-related companies battle it out on the track, as well as seeing how the fruits of the experience gained through this extreme testing passes down to Porsche???s road cars.
What do you think of Porsche???s return to Le Mans? Interesting, or would you rather see their time and resources invested elsewhere?
Enjoy the videos, which follow Porsche???s successes at Le Mans through the decades and feature lots of lovely old racing cars doing their thing.