Top 20 moments of 2013, #17: Porsche returns to Le Mans

Our number 17 top moment of 2013 was the announcement that Porsche will be entering a prototype in the World Endurance Championship.

It was what the endurance racing world had been waiting for since the marque’s last overall Le Mans victory in 1998: the return of Porsche to the top category.

The program was first brought to light in June of last year, but it wasn’t until the German manufacturer started teasing the masses with images of the checker patterned prototype did we realize it would be happening.

One year after announcing that Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas would be developing the car, they rolled out the first test chassis and work began on fine-tuning the machine for competition.

The 2014 Porsche LMP1 drivers are announced
The 2014 Porsche LMP1 drivers are announced

Photo by: Porsche AG

With new regulations in 2014 specific to the amount of energy allowed to be expelled over one lap, the car will use a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine, with two different energy recuperation systems.

Testing also brought many different drivers to fold, with a total of six for a two-car effort in the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas were already on tap for the team, while Porsche signed Marc Lieb, Neel Jani, Brendon Hartley, and the most high profile hire: that of outgoing Formula One ace Mark Webber.

The car, called the 919 Hybrid, has yet to be scrutineered at a public test, but is expected to make some laps in front of the cameras very soon.

“It’s an honor for me to join Porsche at its return to the top category in Le Mans and in the sports car World Endurance Championship and be part of the team. Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding technology and performance at the highest level,” said Webber.

“I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula 1. Porsche will undoubtedly set itself very high goals. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world.”

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About this article
Series Endurance
Drivers Mark Webber , Timo Bernhard , Marc Lieb , Romain Dumas , Neel Jani , Brendon Hartley
Article type Special feature
Tags le mans, lmp1, porsche, prototype, top 20