A full twelve entries of the 62-strong Le Mans 24 grid this weekend are Porsche 911 RSRs. In addition to the two factory-entered cars from Weissach, another 10 privateer-entered Porsches will take the Tricolore start on Saturday with four total cars in the GTE Pro category, and eight more in the GTE Am roster. Surprisingly, however, Ferrari actually has Porsche beat on total entries with two cars in Pro and a whopping eleven in Am. It’s going to be a knock-down-drag-out fight between the P-cars and the F-cars this weekend, that’s for sure. It’s possible that these two are the most celebrated brands in Le Mans history, so this will be a fitting fight for the 89th running of the twice-round-the-clock endurance classic.
The Porsches In GTE Pro
Before you ask, no Porsche is not running in LMP1 anymore, and the already-announced LMDh prototype won’t debut until 2023, so Porsche will only be entering two factory mid-engine 991-generation 911 RSRs, and that’s that. One of those cars will be shared by Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz, and Frederic Makowiecki, while the other one will be split among Kevin Estre, Neel Jani, and Michael Christensen. The WeatherTech Racing squad will be bringing its car over from IMSA to race at Le Mans with floormat empire heir Cooper MacNeil doing the bare minimum race time while factory racers Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor (Together the pair are known as BamThor) pick up the slack. The Hub Auto 911 RSR will see Maxime Martin, Dries Vanthoor (Laurens’ brother), and Alvaro Parente in the driving hot seat.
Porsche will see competition from a pair of factory-entered Corvette C8.Rs and a pair of sorta-factory Ferrari 488 GTEs from AF Corse. Here in the U.S. the Corvette squad has been dominating IMSA GTLM competition, allowing a just a pair of wins for the WeatherTech team. Meanwhile, in the FIA WEC, Porsche’s factory squad has won two of the three opening rounds thus far. It’s a pretty open race, but with four bullets in their gun compared to just two for Ferrari and Corvette, I’d say Porsche has the slight advantage.
The Porsches In GTE Am
Proton Racing will have three Porsches on the grid, two of which partnered with the quasi-Porsche-supported Dempsey Racing squad. A pair of Porsches will come from Team Project 1. One car each will be entered by Herberth Motorsport, GR Racing, and Absolute Racing. Of all of those, I’d put my money on Team Project 1’s #77 car of Christian Reid, Jaxon Evans, and Matt Campbell. Thus far in 2021, the Ferrari teams have won all three FIA WEC GTE Am rounds, so Porsche will really have to pull off something special to catch up in this incredibly important race.