Porsche’s “Pink Pig” powers to Le Mans win

June 17, 2018

Porsche’s “Pink Pig” powers to Le Mans win

June 17, 2018

Porsche has enjoyed a banner year in major endurance sports car racing in 2018. And they’ve added another victory to that year today, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Manthey Racing-run No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR of Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor dominated nearly the entire GTE-Pro class race.

Wearing Porsche’s “Pink Pig” retro livery, the No. 92 Porsche moved into the lead early and then stayed there the rest of the race.

Porsche adds this win to victories in the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Nurburgring this year. These wins come as Porsche celebrates 70 Years of Sports Cars in 2018.

Estre gained a significant time advantage in the fourth hour, as he pitted prior to a Safety Car period. Other cars that hadn’t pitted then got trapped behind the Safety Car on track, while in pit lane. This allowed the No. 92 Porsche to open up an unassailable gap for the rest of the race.

The “Rothmans” retro livery No. 91 Porsche engaged in a thrilling battle for second place with the No. 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT. Porsche prevailed there to complete a 1-2 finish.

A heart-in-mouth moment between these two cars occurred in Hour 21. Sebastien Bourdais in the Ford made it past Fred Makowiecki in the Porsche on the outside, on the run down to Indianapolis.

But Makowiecki then powered past exiting Arnage two corners later. Makowiecki went first to Bourdais’ outside, then came back across the road to get past. Although they got close, there was no contact. Bourdais was angry with Makowiecki’s driving conduct, but Race Control took no further action.

Alas, Bourdais finished third in the first of the U.S. cars in the GTE-Pro class. He shared his Ford with Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller.

The No. 67 Ford and No. 63 Corvette C7.R completed the top five in class.

The two American-entered Porsches has tough days, in CORE autosport’s Le Mans debut. Porsche’s No. 94 car retired with a broken suspension while the No. 93 car lost time in the garage with an alternator.

BMW impressed on pace but lost its No. 82 M8 GTE in the morning with an accident. Aston Martin gained valuable laps with its new Vantage, as both cars made it to the checkered flag.

Dempsey Proton Racing captured the GTE-Am win to give Porsche a pair of victories. Christian Ried, Julian Andlauer and Matt Campbell completed a near faultless run in the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR. This gives racing enthusiast and past Le Mans podium finisher Patrick Dempsey his first Le Mans win, as a car entrant.

Spirit of Race’s No. 54 Ferrari was second ahead of the Keating Motorsports/Risi Competizione No. 85 Ferrari in third.

The Keating/Risi car emerged out of several cars with IMSA and/or American ties to get on the podium.

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