One of the cooler things that Porsche has done this year was to orchestrate this elaborate road trip. The premise of the “Le Mans Unravelled” trip was to show people just how much effort goes into driving the distance of the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hour race winners. When Porsche won the 2016 running of the world’s most famous sports car race, drivers Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, and Neel Jani ran a full 384 laps, covering a distance of 5,233 kilometers. To commemorate that victory this June, Porsche gathered a group of European writers, lifestyle journalists, and a few YouTubers to drive that distance themselves (sort of).
Starting the trek deep into the Arctic Circle in a town called Bodo, Norway, the journey had the crew drive all the way down to the Mediterranean coast, finishing up in Tarifa on the tip of southern Spain. You’d expect Porsche to bring their full lineup on a trip like this, as a 911 Turbo, a 718 Cayman or Boxster, a Macan, a Cayenne, or a Panamera could easily make the 5000 kilometer trip in comfort. What we didn’t expect to see, however, was a 918 Spyder take this long non-stop road. Sure, the drivers weren’t going full out at race speeds, but they managed to hustle to complete the route in just 64-hours. The “drivers” weren’t expected to drive during the night, however, as Porsche hired porters to keep them driving through the night while the writers and YouTube stars were given mobile hotel rooms on special motor coaches.
This endurance test on the street speaks more to the resilience of Porsche’s best sports cars than it does the drivers, if we’re honest. We never knew that a 918 Spyder could handle a 64-hour continuous road trip, stopping only for fuel-ups and driver changes, just like the 919 Hybrids Porsche raced at Le Mans. Would you wager that the 918’s competition in the Hypercar market, namely Ferrari’s LaFerrari or McLaren’s P1 could make that same trip without issue?