Porsche Power Returns to Top

June 13, 2010

Porsche Power Returns to Top

June 13, 2010

As others fell out, the Felbermayr-Proton Porsche took the GT2 title. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

GT1 and GT2 Reviews

The headline going into the GT2 class at this year’s Le Mans was which of seven manufacturers would emerge from a highly competitive field. Additionally, there were 16 cars determined to end the Risi Competizione streak in major endurance races, with six straight wins going back to Le Mans 2008.

However, the GT2 race turned into a battle of last team standing. Factory Porsche drivers Wolf Henzler, Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz scored their first Le Mans victories in the Team Felbermayr-Proton No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, over the No. 89 Team Farnbacher Ferrari F430 GT and No. 97 BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche. The top three teams all race primarily in Europe, but Henzler races a Porsche in the ALMS. The victory was the first GT2 win for Porsche at Le Mans since 2007.

After dominating the class for much of the race, it was bitter frustration for ALMS stalwarts Corvette Racing in it’s Le Mans debut in the GT2 class. The No. 64 Corvette C6 ZR1 had a great early race dice with the No. 82 Risi Ferrari for the lead, and when the Risi Ferrari fell out (see below), it was smooth sailing for both the 64 and the sister No. 63.

The 64’s bid ended when Peugeot’s Anthony Davidson made a highly aggressive  pass through the second half of the Porsche Curves. The move forced Corvette’s Emmanuel Collard off the road and into the barrier, damaging the rear of the car. The team made heroic repairs but the No. 64 later retired.

Both of Risi’s Ferraris retired as well, the defending champion No. 82 with gearbox issues and the No. 83 with engine failure. The 82 starred with drivers Jaime Melo, Gianmaria Bruni and Pierre Kaffer, after coming from the back of the grid to the lead five hours into the race. The car went to the garage and repairs were unsuccessful. The 83 of Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Eric van de Poele ran solidly but were unable to finish.

Flying Lizard’s string of bad luck at Le Mans continued as the team retired its No. 80 Porsche after incurring mechanical issues from an incident that damaged the car’s radiator. Joerg Bergmeister, Darren Law and Seth Neiman struggled with the setup and never threatened the leaders in the highly-competitive class.

Although the Jaguar name returned to Le Mans, the car itself had little more than a cameo appearance in the race for RSR Jaguar. The No. 81 car retired in the first half hour.

The last year of the GT1 class ended with a win for the Saleen S7R of Larbre Competition. The car has raced at Le Mans for a decade, so despite not having the outright pace it did have enough reliability to last 24 hours. Roland Berville, Julien Canal and Gabriele Gardel took the No. 50 Saleen to the win.

Latest Photos

Latest Video

Kellymoss provides drivers a path to the IMSA WeatherTech Championship

Friday August 25, 2023