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LMP1 Team development stages, 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship winners

The Porsche LMP Team’s chronicled success story

End of 2011
Recruiting begins (status those days: Fritz Enzinger plus five more employees).

An office building and the workshop are built. Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas are announced as the first drivers.

Roll-out of the first 919 Hybrid on the test ground in Weissach with Timo Bernhard at the wheel.

Testing on various race tracks in different countries, team preparation in Weissach going on with, for example, 1,053 pit stops practiced. Drivers Neel Jani, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Marc Lieb are announced.
The team under Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1, grows to 230 people. Alexander Hitzinger is Technical Director, Andreas Seidl becomes Team Principal.

February 2014
The driver combinations are confirmed: Bernhard/Hartley/Webber and Dumas/Jani/Lieb.

Presentation of the Porsche 919 Hybrid alongside the 911 RSR at the International Auto Salon in Geneva.

Podium finish at the race debut: Bernhard/Hartley/Webber come third at the six-hour race at Silverstone.

First pole position in the second race:
Jani/Lieb dominate qualifying in Spa-Francorchamps.

15.06.2014 Le Mans:
Marc Lieb crosses the line in 11th place overall. Less than two hours before the car was fourth when it had to pit for a long repair because of a gearbox issue. Almost at the same time, Mark Webber, second in the race, had to give up due to an engine failure. Both 919 Hybrids had problems earlier in the race as well (fuel system No 14, suspension No 20), but caught up brilliantly. Towards the end of the race car number 20 was leading for a long time.

In Fuji a 919 sets the fastest race lap for the first time (Webber).

For the first time both car crews make it onto the podium: In Bahrain Dumas/Jani/Lieb finish second in front of Bernhard/Hartley/Webber.

Announcement to enter a third Porsche 919 Hybrid in Spa and Le Mans in 2015.

November 2014
Porsche signs Nico Hülkenberg to drive a third 919 Hybrid in Spa and Le Mans in 2015.

For the first time the two 919s lock out the front row: In São Paulo Bernhard/Webber manage to achieve the fourth pole position for the 919 Hybrid.

In São Paulo Dumas/Jani/Lieb achieve the maiden win for the 919. It is the sixth podium finish in the debut season and a success under dramatic circumstances, because Mark Webber suffers a heavy accident with less than 30 minutes race time left. Luckily he escapes without any severe injuries.

First roll-out of the 2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid on the test ground in Weissach with Marc Lieb at the wheel.

In Paris Porsche announces Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy will complete the crew for the third 919 Hybrid.

Presentation of the second generation Porsche 919 Hybrid in Paul Ricard.

In Silverstone both 919s lock out the front row of the grid. Pole position goes to Bernhard/Hartley/Webber, who retire from the race. Dumas/Jani/Lieb finish second.

In Spa, three 919s are fielded for the first time – serving as a dress rehearsal for Le Mans. They occupy the first three grid spots with Bernhard/Hartley/Webber again as pole-sitters. The trio finishes the race in third behind Dumas/Jani/Lieb. LMP1 newcomers Bamber/Hülkenberg/Tandy achieve sixth.

In the first qualifying at Le Mans, two of the 919s break the seven-year-old qualifying record. Fastest is Jani with a lap time of 3.16.887 minutes ahead of Bernhard.

Tandy puts the third 919 third in the second qualifying session at night.

Bamber/Hülkenberg/Tandy clinch the 17th overall victory for Porsche at Le Mans. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber make the one-two result perfect. It is the fourth for Porsche after 1971, 1987 and 1998. Dumas/Jani/Lieb conclude the spectacular race in fifth. Now, after three World Championship rounds, and scoring double points at Le Mans, Porsche leads the manufacturers’ category of the World Championship.

The next one-two result follows at the first WEC race in Germany: Bernhard/Hartley/Webber win on the Nürburgring ahead of Dumas/Jani/Lieb, who finish in second place despite several stop-and-go penalties. In qualifying, this order was reversed. The new aero kit of the 919 generates significantly more downforce.

In Austin, Bernhard/Hartley/Webber win again, after starting from second on the grid. Pole went to Dumas/Jani/Lieb, who finish the race in fifth after an electronic problem.

Despite difficult weather conditions, Fuji yields the third one-two: Bernhard/Hartley/Webber in front of Dumas/Jani/Lieb. The two 919s started the race in this order. Thanks to swapping positions shortly before the end of the race, Bernhard/Hartley/Webber move into the lead of the Drivers’ World Championship.

With one race left on the calendar, Porsche holds an unassailable lead in the manufacturers’ classification. With Bernhard/Hartley/Webber notching up the fourth win of the season in Shanghai, and Dumas/Jani/Lieb again in second, they secure the World Championship title for Porsche. Pole position went to the eventual race winners.

Porsche wraps up the season at the finale in Bahrain by scoring the sixth overall victory in a row and takes home the drivers’ title. Fifth for Bernhard/Hartley/Webber is enough to clinch the Drivers’ World Championship. Dumas/Jani/Lieb secure their long-awaited first win of the season. The race turned into a thriller. Holding a 13-point advantage over the fastest Audi trio, Bernhard/Hartley/Webber had started from pole position. But after 30 minutes, the three pitted for lengthy repairs and had to make up ground, charging from last to fifth place. It was the sister car that grabbed the lead from the fast Audis in Bahrain, and thus snatched the decisive championship points. In the 2015 season, no other car managed to start from the front row of the grid other than the 919.

Presentation of the developed 919 in Paul Ricard, the successful driver line-up remains unchanged.

Dumas/Jani/Lieb (4th on the grid) finish second at the season opener in Silverstone. Because of the number 7 Audi being disqualified, they are promoted to the race winners. Jani clocks the fastest race lap. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (3rd on the grid) retire after two hours due to an accident when lapping a slower car (Hartley).

Despite hybrid problems, Dumas/Jani/Lieb come second in Spa, the same position they had started from. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber only finish fifth in the LMP1-H class after tyre damage had huge consequences. Hartley manages the fastest lap of the race, after he had started from pole position.

After a strategic duel with a Toyota, which went on for hours, Dumas/Jani/Lieb take the 18th overall Le Mans victory for Porsche. The finish was dramatic: Kazuki Nakajima in the leading Toyota stops on track with one lap to go. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber finish 13th overall, having been delayed by long repairs (water pump). Jani and Bernhard had started from the front row of the grid.
24.07.2016 On home soil at the Nürburgring Bernhard/Hartley/Webber repeat their previous year’s win, having started third on the grid. After some unscheduled pit stops, Dumas/Jani/Lieb (4th on the grid) finish fourth. They defend their championship lead in the drivers’ standings.

Bernhard/Hartley/Webber win the WEC debut race in Mexico City, having started from fourth. Hartley sets the fastest race lap. For Dumas/Jani/Lieb the tyre strategy in changing conditions doesn’t work out, and they have an incident in traffic. They finish fourth, but still extend their championship lead.

In hot tropical conditions in Austin, Bernhard/Hartley/Webber take their third consecutive race win, having started third. Dumas/Jani/Lieb start fifth on the grid, suffer for a long time from a lack of downforce and, again, finish fourth. They remain championship leaders, but the advantage has shrunk.

In the best track conditions in Fuji the 919 returns to the front row of the grid: P2 for Bernhard/Hartley/Webber, P6 for Dumas/Jani/Lieb. 0.025 seconds is the gap to pole position. In the race the gap between the winning Toyota and the second placed Audi is 1.4 seconds. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber finish third, the championship leaders only come fifth. Their advantage has melted again. It is an emotional weekend because on Thursday Webber announces his retirement from professional racing at the end of the season. He becomes a Porsche representative.

In Shanghai Bernhard/Hartley/Webber perform a straightforward start-to-finish victory from pole position with Hartley setting the fastest race lap. Dumas/Jani/Lieb start from P6 on the grid and finish fourth. Porsche wins the World Championship title for Manufacturers the second time in a row.

Mission accomplished: In the last one of the nine WEC rounds, held in Bahrain, Dumas/Jani/Lieb become the new Drivers’ World Champions, despite finishing the race after an early collision in sixth position. They had started from P3 on the grid. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (P2 on the grid) come third in the race.

After the fare well of Webber, Dumas and Lieb Porsche announces its new driver line-up for the 2017 WEC and Le Mans: Neel Jani shares the number 1 car with newcomer André Lotterer and LMP1 homecomer Nick Tandy. The number 2 sister car is now in the hands of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber (who alongside Tandy is the second Porsche works driver and 2015 Le Mans winner returning to the LMP1 programme).

Unveiling of the reworked Porsche 919 Hybrid at the Italian race track of Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

For the opening two WEC rounds, Porsche goes for a calculated aerodynamic compromise and uses the Le Mans package at Silverstone and Spa. Bamber/Bernhard/Hartley qualify fourth on the grid in England and finish second in the race. Jani/Lotterer/Tandy start from third and finish in third place.

Both 919 crews encounter incidents at Spa: Bamber/Bernhard/Hartley lose some time because of a slow puncture. Starting fifth on the grid, they still finish in third place with Hartley setting the fastest race lap. Despite starting from pole position, Jani/Lotterer/Tandy only finish fourth in the race after being unlucky with the timing of full course yellow periods.

Despite a 65 minute long stop for repairs early on Saturday evening when the E machine needed to be replaced, Bamber/Bernhard/Hartley nevertheless claim Porsche’s 19th overall Le Mans victory. In an enormous effort, the trio slice through the field from 54th position to first place. They had started from P4. Jani/Lotterer/Tandy, coming from P3 on the grid, lead the race for more than ten hours. But at 11:09 hrs on Sunday, Lotterer retires due to engine failure.

After 2015 and 2016, Porsche also takes a third consecutive race win at the Nürburgring with the 919 Hybrid. The championship leaders Bamber/Bernhard/Hartley (P2 on the grid) win the race ahead of Jani/Lotterer/Tandy (P3 on the grid).

The fifth WEC round, held in Mexico City, becomes a commanding performance by Porsche: A front row lock-out with Bamber/Bernhard/Hartley in front of Jani/Lotterer/Tandy followed by a one-two race win in the same order. Hartley rounds off the 919’s dominance during this six-hour race by setting another fastest race lap.

The team manages another one-two race win in Austin after a tough fight with Toyota. Jani/Lotterer/Tandy start from pole position, Jani sets the fastest race lap and the trio leads the race in Texan heat for a long time before handing the race win over to the championship leaders Bamber/Bernhard/Hartley.

In the seventh of nine WEC rounds at the Fuji International Speedway Bamber/Bernhard/Hartley take pole position ahead of Jani/Lotterer/Tandy. In the race Bamber records the fastest lap but the championship leaders finish only in fourth place in a race that is hampered by fog and rain and gets red flagged early. The sister car takes the chequered flag in third position. Toyota takes a one-two victory on home soil.

amber/Bernhard/Hartley and Jani/Lotterer/Tandy finish second and third respectively at the Shanghai Grand Prix circuit. This is enough to secure the drivers’ World Championship for Bamber/Bernhard/Hartley and for Porsche to win the Manufacturers’ World Championship for a third consecutive time. 

The balance sheet after the Porsche 919 Hybrids’ 33 outings since early 2014 and up until today reads:

19 pole positions,
17 victories, including seven one-twos,
twelve fastest race laps,
six world championship titles (three for manufacturers, three for drivers).

Twelve manufacturers’ titles in earlier Sports Car World Championships:
1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986
Communications, Sustainability and Politics
Event and Sports Communications
Holger Eckhardt
Phone: +49 (0) 711 / 911 24959

Englisch (Porsche AG)



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LMP1 Team development stages, 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship winners: The Porsche LMP Team’s chronicled success story

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