Gallery: History of Porsche in endurance racing in the last 50 years

Remembering Porsche's history in endurance racing in the last 50 years, starting with the 907 and ending with the 919 Hybrid. The manufacturer has decided to withdraw from endurance racing.

Gallery: History of Porsche in endurance racing in the last 50 years

 

#1 Rothmans Porsche Porsche 962C: Hans-Joachim Stuck, Derek Bell, Al Holbert, #7 Joest Racing Porsche 956: Klaus Ludwig, Paolo Barilla, John Winter
The WEC Fuji 6 Hours will be Porsche's last racing in Japan, before the last two rounds in Shanghai and Bahrain. They will then retreat from the LMP1 arena.

It is sad that there is no manufacturer left in sports car racing other than Porsche. The Stuttgart-based company was always involved from Le Mans to WEC and IMSA.

We present a gallery of Porsche models that competed in endurance racing's premier events in the last 50 years.

1967: Porsche 907 LH

1967: Porsche 907 LH
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Photo by: Porsche AG

The 2200 cc engine premiered at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1967, and became the first Porsche finish at Le Mans with an average speed of over 200 kmph. The greatest achievement was the 1-2-3 finish in Daytona 24 Hours 1968 (photo) and 1-2 at Sebring the same year.

1976: Porsche 935

1976: Porsche 935
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Photo by: Philippe Hubert

There was no mention in the regulations that the headlights should be in the same place as the prodcution car. Porsche modified the aerodynamics on the 911 for the birth of the 935. It succeeded in winning Le Mans in 1979.

1976: Porsche 936

1976: Porsche 936
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Photo by: Motorsport Images

Creation of the Group 5 and Group 6 categories gave birth to the Porsche 935 and 936. The 936 was driven by Jacky Ickx and Gijs van Lennep and they won their third Le Mans title. The 936 again became champion in 1977 and 1981.

1982: Porsche 956

1982: Porsche 956
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Photo by: Jean-Philippe Legrand

The Group C era begins. The 956 had a 2.65 liter twin turbo and won in Le Sarthe almost without resistance. It got a 1-2-3. A year later, Le Mans looked like a 956 one-make race as nine out of 10 drivers who finished were in a 956. The model continued to win until 1985 and dominated the WEC championship.

1984: Porsche 962C

1984: Porsche 962C
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Photo by: Patrick Martinoli

This car came under Group C as 962C. In Le Mans, 1985, the manufacturer entered with the 962C and till 1987, Porsche dominated the Le Mans and WSC.

1984: Porsche 962

1984: Porsche 962
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Photo by: Kenneth Barton

Due to IMSA GTP regulations in Group C, Porsche is unable to field the 956. Instead, 962 model was developed with the driver seat position changed for safety. It won the IMSA GT between 1985 and 1988.

1994: Dauer 962 LM GT

1994: Dauer 962 LM GT
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Photo by: Jean-Philippe Legrand

At Le Mans, the loophole in the GT1 regulation saw Porsche fielding a Dauer 962 LM GT-based 962. They beat the Toyota 94C-V and won their 13th title.

1994: Kremer-Porsche K8

1994: Kremer-Porsche K8
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Photo by: Jean-Philippe Legrand

In the LMP era beginning 1992, a number of private constructors chose Porsche engines. One of them was the Kremer K8. It had not only the Porsche engine but also many components from the 962. K8 managed to win Daytona 24 Hours in 1995.

1996: TWR Porsche WSC 95

1996: TWR Porsche WSC 95
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Photo by: Jean-Philippe Legrand

Customer Joest mated with the 962 machine in a TWR WSC 95 chassis. The result was two consecutive championships and it even beat the factory 911 GT1.

1996: Porsche 911 GT1

1996: Porsche 911 GT1
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Photo by: Jean-Philippe Legrand

Again Porsche cleverly interpreted the GT1 regulation and brought out the 911. At Le Mans, in 1996, it finished second and won the GT1 class. It was a DNF in 1997 due to the better cars like McLaren-BMW and Mercedes in the FIA GT.

1998: Porsche 911 GT1-98

1998: Porsche 911 GT1-98
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Photo by: Motorsport Images

Capitalising on the reliability, the 911 GT1-98 beat the Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan and Ferrari to finish P1 and P2 in Le Mans 1998. Unfortunately, the FIA ​​GT failed to win even once. At the end of 1998, Porsche withdrew from endurance.

2005: Porsche RS Spyder

2005: Porsche RS Spyder
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Photo by: Richard Sloop

In collaboration with Penske, Porsche returned to endurance in 2005, moving to the ALMS championship LMP2 class. Relying on the RS Spyder, they managed to win three drivers and constructors ALMS (2006-2008), and Le Mans Series, 2008. They also became the LMP2 champion in Le Mans, 2008.

2008: Riley-Porsche Mk XI

2008: Riley-Porsche Mk XI
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Porsche engines also took part in the Daytona Prototype (DP) in the Grand-Am championships. One of them was the Riley Mark XI of the Brumos team that won the Daytona 24 Hours 2009. The following year, Action Express Racing won.

Since 2014: Porsche 919 Hybrid

Since 2014: Porsche 919 Hybrid
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Having missed the top category since the end of 1998, Porsche returned to Le Mans and WEC in 2014. They relied on a 919 Hybrid 2,000 cc V4 turbo engine combined with electric motor. They won the 2014 WEC in Brazil. A year later, Porsche won their 17th Le Mans title.

From 2014: Porsche 919 Hybrid

From 2014: Porsche 919 Hybrid
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Photo by: Sutton Images

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