They earned it after winning the overall title three years in a row
The Porsche Museum’s latest exhibit does not have wheels, but it sure does represent a lot of what Porsche is. The winner’s trophy of the 24 Hours of Le Mans can now be with the Stuttgart firm forever, a right bestowed to any team which has won the legendary race three times in a row (in 2015, 2016, and 2017).
Since making its debut at the 6 Hours of Silverstone in April 2014, the 919 Hybrid race car immediately proved to be a front-runner with 17 top podium finishes in the 34 WEC (World Endurance Race) events it has entered.
Such is the quality of the LMP1 race car, it has won Le Mans with (almost) three different set of drivers; in 2015 it was Nico Hulkenberg (currently Renault F1 driver), Earl Bamber, and Nick Tandy. The year after that, it was Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, and Marc Lieb, while last year it was Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley (currently driving for Torro Rosso in F1), and, again, KL-based Earl Bamber.
The 919 Hybrid is not only an endurance race monster, it has also served as a crucial test-bed for Porsche’s development of future innovations. Not long from now, you’ll see its first ‘by-product’ in the form of the 600bhp Mission E, due before 2020.
Back to the trophy; you’ll notice that it is being carried with a little effort by very fit and strong Porsche works drivers, and that’s because that thing is nearly 50kg.
In any case, those drivers may have carried the trophy with a heavier heart as there is no chance of them winning Le Mans again, at least not with an LMP1 Porsche race car. As we may all know, Porsche has excited the LMP1 class to shift their focus to Formula E. The only Porsche cars you’ll see at Le Mans from now on will be in the GT class.More information please click here
In fact, the Porsche Museum will not only have the winner’s challenge trophy as one of its new exhibits, but by autumn 2018 the 919 Hybrid will end up as a display too. Sad.