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Porsche Happy To Pick Up ‘Incomprehensible’ Win

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, June 22 2016
Neel Jani takes the checkered flag in the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid at Le Mans on Sunday. The victory was a stunner. (Photos courtesy of Porsche North America)

Neel Jani takes the checkered flag in the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid at Le Mans on Sunday. The victory was a stunner. (Photos courtesy of Porsche North America)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

This is what the 24 Hours of Le Mans means in the pecking order of world motorsport. Moments before the start of Sunday’s press conference following the FIA Formula One Grand Prix of Europe, Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari tossed out the first inquiry to a roomful of media.

buganalysis“Question to anyone. Who won Le Mans?” said Vettel, who had finished second in the GP to fellow-German Nico Rosberg of Mercedes AMG.

When told Porsche had won, Vettel said, “How did Toyota manage to lose?”

Last lap, Vettel was informed.

“Retired? Nooooooo…!” Seb said, incredulously.

In case you missed it between Fox Sports 1 and FS2’s frustrating juggling act of coverage involving golf, trash sport cage fighting and motorsports (including NHRA and Almighty NASCAR), Neel Jani drove the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid to victory when the race-leading Toyota driven by Kazuki Nakajima broke with less than four minutes remaining in the 24-hour classic. With six minutes left in the race’s 84th edition, Nakajima reported that his Toyota TS 050 Hybrid was losing power. The Toyota eventually rolled to a stop just past the start/finish line with 3 minutes, 20 seconds to go.

Jani, who shared the No. 2 car with Romain Dumas and Marc Leib, flashed into the lead on what turned out to be the final lap to give Porsche its second consecutive victory and 18th overall in the world’s most prestigious sports car endurance race.

Oliver Blume, chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, witnessed the stunning finish from the team’s garage.

“What happened in Le Mans is almost incomprehensible,” Blume said from Porsche headquarters

Porsche chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG Oliver Blume gives a hug to driver Romain Dumas after their car won Le Mans.

Porsche chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG Oliver Blume gives a hug to driver Romain Dumas after their car won Le Mans.

in Stuttgart. “From the first to the last lap this race was competition on the ultimate level in terms of sport and technology _ and it was thrilling as well. The race asked the utmost from our cars, our drivers and the team. We always were either in the lead or in striking distance of Toyota. We were fighting until the end and never gave up. This spirit was rewarded in the end. We have the greatest respect for Toyota.”

Here are some fast facts from Porsche’s latest victory at Circuit de la Sarthe: 

_The winning team of Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Denmark) in the No. 2 car completed 384 laps/3,251.97-miles/5,233.54-kilometers.

_ Car No. 2 led the race for 51 laps. The No. 1 sister car of Timo Bernhard (Denmark), Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber (Australia) led for 52 laps in the first third of the race.

_ Due to many phases of the race being run under reduced speed because of safety car periods and slow zones, the race distance was almost 155.34-miles/150 kilometers short of the distance covered in 2015.

_ For 327 of the 384 laps the winning No. 2 car was driven at full-race pace. On 57 laps either the safety car was on track or at least one so-called slow zone was in place. This means that only 49.7 mph/80 km/h was allowed for safety reasons at certain parts of the 8.47-mile/13.629-kilometer track.

_ In total, the race saw four safety car periods (16 laps) and 24 slow zones.

_Car No. 2 spent a total of 38 minutes, five seconds in the pits for refueling and tire changes. Because of a water pump change and repairs for the subsequent damage, car No. 1 was in the pits for a total of two hours, 59 minutes and 14 seconds.

_ The average speed of the winning Porsche 919 Hybrid was 134.46 mph/216.4 km/h.

_ The highest top speed of a Porsche 919 Hybrid during the race was 207.47 mph/333.9 km/h as posted by Brendon Hartley on Lap 50. 

_ The Porsche 919 Hybrid recuperated and used 2,22 kWh (8 megajoule) per lap. If it was a power plant, a family home could be supplied with electricity for three months.

_ Car No. 2 was refueled 30 times; car No. 1 was refueled 20 times.

_ Car No. 2 used 11 sets of Michelin tires in the race. The first set were rain tires, all others were slicks.

_ The longest distance covered with one set of tires was 53 laps with Marc Lieb at the wheel.

_ The fastest pit stop, including a tire and driver change, by the Porsche Team was 1 minute, 22.5-seconds.

_ The fastest stop for refueling was completed in 65.2-seconds.

_ The winning Porsche’s gearbox mastered 22,984 gear changes (up shift and down shift) during the 24 hours.

_ The longest stint behind the wheel in the winning car was recorded by Neel Jani at 9 hours, 24 minutes. Romain Dumas spent the longest continuous time in the No. 2 car. 

_ The drivers had 0.85-liters of drink on-board for each stint. The drink bottle was changed at every refueling stop.

_ For the best possible visibility, the Prototypes had four tear-offs on the windscreens, which were removed one after the other.

_ The highest ambient temperature during the race was 72.3 degrees Fahrenheit/22.4 degrees Celsius at 17:30 hours. The lowest temp was 54.1 degrees Fahrenheit/12.3 degrees Celsius at 06:15 hours. 

_ A total of 32.11 gigabytes of data from car No. 2 were transmitted to the pits during the 24 hours.

_ After three rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship, with double points in Le Mans, Porsche now leads the championship with 127 points, followed by Audi (95) and Toyota (79). In the drivers’ world championship Dumas/Jani/Lieb have scored 94 points and are leading by a gap of 39 points. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber are in 19th position with 3.5 points.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, June 22 2016
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