Porsche’s won Le Mans an astounding 18-times. But all Porsche fans know that, don’t they? But what time did Mark Webber complete his first ever lap in an LMP1 car? Or, when did Porsche celebrate its first hybrid race car success? How many times will the 919 stop for fuel at Le Mans? What about tire?
We’ve compiled a list of 31 interesting facts and figures about Porsche’s long run in Le Mans. Master these answers and you’ll be sure to win at your next Porsche trivia night.
The initial roll-out of the first 919 was done by Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard on June 12 in 2013 at the Weissach test track. A little over two years later, he became world endurance champion at the wheel of the latest 919 Hybrid.
That’s the number of Hollywood stars that entered Le Mans with Porsche. Steve McQueen’s attempt made it in to the cinema in 1971, in 1979 Paul Newman came in second overall while Patrick Dempsey also climbed the 2015 podium, finishing second in the GTE-AM class.
The average number of hours each of the Porsche LMP drivers spend on a massage bed during the 24-hour race.
The number of Porsche LMP team members who formed the delegation visiting Le Mans in 2013, for research purposes, one year before the return to the top category. They witnessed the first win of a works Porsche since 1998 when the 911 RSR won the GT class.
The number of people who were part of the team, at the end of 2011, when Porsche began to prepare for the LMP return. Since 2015 the team’s head count has increased to 260 with 160 of them being engineers.
The number of Porsche LMP drivers who share three bedrooms: two drivers each share a container behind the pit box to rest and sleep. A shared bathroom is included. Quietness is not an option.
The number of megajoules recovered per lap, is the highest category from the efficiency regulations. Porsche was the first – and for a long time – only manufacturer in that category. The trendsetting challenge behind this: the more electrical power the 919 uses, the less fuel it is allowed to burn.
At 10pm on 10 June 2015 Neel Jani set off for the first Le Mans qualifying session. He lapped the circuit in 3:16.887 minutes – which remains a record time.
The number of men who formed the advance guard to build up the two-floor steel hall behind the Porsche LMP pit box. They began on May 23rd, 2017, almost four weeks before the race. On May 30, a convoy of eight semi-trailers arrived containing the race cars and the entire equipment. For the test day on June 4, everything has to be in place.
The amount of data, in gigabytes, sent by each 919 to the pits during the 24 hours.
The weight in kilograms of a 919 rim with tire. Mechanic Rainer Mühlhäuser manages to pick up a used wheel with one hand and attach a new one with the other. Since he did that at the opening WEC race in Silverstone, others down the pit lane are practicing this truly impressive feat.
A number best forgotten as it represents not just the number of hours into the race when car number 20 took the lead in 2014. But also the number of minutes after Mark Webber had begun his final stint, and was forced to bring home this number 20 car on electric drive – engine failure. 20 minutes later the number 14 sister car suffered a gearbox failure.
Was the time in complete darkness on December 9 in 2013 when Mark Webber started his first ever lap at the wheel of an LMP1 car on a circuit he had never driven on.
On October 10 in 2014, practice day in Fuji, the team congratulated Brendon Hartley for his 25th birthday – including presents. Unfortunately, they were one month early.
The number of stops for refuelling and ten stops for changing tires and drivers is anticipated for each Porsche 919 Hybrid during the Le Mans race.
The number of consecutive night laps Romain Dumas and Neel Jani were at the wheel of the winning car during the 2016 Le Mans. Due to safety car periods, Dumas’ stint was exaggerated to the longest stint of all the Porsche LMP drivers. It lasted from 00:13 hrs until 03:38 hrs. That’s almost the duration of two Formula 1 Grands Prix.
Around 60% of the 919 Hybrid’s recovered energy comes from the front brakes, around 40% is provided by the exhaust system.
The number of people that form Porsche’s LMP Team’s operational crew for a six-hour race. At the Le Mans 24-Hours this number is 90.
degree is the cylinder angle of the 919 Hybrid’s V4 combustion engine. But its operating mode is one of a steep standing “boxer” engine.
At the 2015 final WEC round in Bahrain, both throttle barrel levers broke on the Timo Bernhard/Brendon Hartley/Mark Webber car. The fact that the three drivers still reached the chequered flag and became world champions was thanks to a mechanic’s clever idea and quick thinking engineers: mechanics had locked the barrels on full throttle – by putting two pliers into the engine, fixed with cable straps – while engineers were busy programming in real time to keep the car running.
The number of laps covered by Earl Bamber/Nico Hülkenberg/Nick Tandy on their way to win the 2015 Le Mans 24-Hours. The three LMP rookies agreed before the race that they each drive the speed they were comfortable while trying to avoid hitting anything. This way a podium finish should be doable. The plan resulted in the first overall victory for Porsche since 1998.
The number of laps representing the longest distance ever covered during the Le Mans 24-Hours. The 2010 winners all had a Porsche junior background (Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Mike Rockenfeller). They shared an Audi when they covered the 5,410.713 kilometres.
HP contribute the two different energy recovery systems (front axle brakes and exhaust). On demand, an electric engine powers the front axle and turns the 919 Hybrid in to what is in effect, a temporary four-wheel drive car.
HP is the output of the 919’s turbo charged petrol engine that drives the rear axle.
The 919 Hybrid is the only LMP1 that regains energy not only when braking but also when accelerating, thanks to exhaust energy recovery.
The year when Ferdinand Porsche created the first car with a serial hybrid drive. Its name “Semper Vivus” translates to “always alive”. Two wheel hub electric engines (20 ampere at 90 volt each) and a battery were constantly serving two combustion engines by a dynamo. At the 1901 Semmering hill climb race, an improved version of the Lohner Porsche prototype comfortably achieved the best time of an electric car. Afterwards a small series of two-seater electric compact cars were built.
The length of time the smell would linger if a driver broke wind in the car according to Neel Jani. Apparently he was unhappy with the cockpit ventilation of the first test car back in 2013.
The number of shifts (up and down shifting) of the winning Porsche 919 Hybrid’s gearbox during the 2016 Le Mans 24-Hours.
Kilowatt hours of electrical energy have been recuperated by Porsche 919 Hybrids during a total mileage of 321,000 kilometers (testing and race weekends) from their two energy recovery systems (brake energy from the front axle and exhaust energy). If the 919 was a “power station”, this energy would have been the capacity to power a village of 15 houses, each occupied by four people, for an entire year.
The number of kilometers completed by various variants of the Porsche 919 Hybrid from early 2014 until the end of May 2017 during race weekends (including practice and qualifying).
The number of test kilometers driven, since 2013, add to this impressive tally.