Few automotive manufacturers in the world have the motorsports resume of Porsche. Regardless of discipline, P cars are always competitive, if not dominant. Arguably, the brand’s greatest success has come in prototype racing – most notably at the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Nineteen times Porsche has claimed the overall victory; the most of any single brand in history. It’s an impressive feat considering the 24 hours of Le Mans has been around since 1923 and Porsche didn’t achieve the company’s first overall victory until 1970.
Success has come in many forms for the brand, from full out factory creations to collaborations with other partners. But what is the greatest Le Mans Porsche prototype of all time? What is the racecar that sits on the highest pedestal, epitomizing the brand’s dominance at La Sarthe?
I have gathered six vehicles for your consideration. Which one do you think is the best of all time? Or maybe you prefer a less memorable victor not included below. Either way, let me know.
Quick Facts: Powered by a flat-12 engine. Won Le Mans in 1970 and 1971. Still technically holds the lap record around La Sarthe (although the layout has significantly changed)
Quick Facts: Powered by a small 2.14-litre flat-six engine. Won Le Mans in 1976, 1977 and 1981. The car was a mix of 917 and 935 technology.
Quick Facts: Built to Group C specifications. Powered by a 2.65-liter flat-six engine. Won Le Mans four consecutive years – 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985.
Quick Facts: An evolution of the 956 but built to GTP specifications. The 962 was safer and more adaptable to various racing formats. Power came from a 3.0-liter flat-six. Won Le Mans in 1986 and 1987. A modified ‘road’ version also won in 1994.
Porsche 911 GT1-98
Quick Facts: Powered by a 3.2-liter flat-six. Homologation road cars were created to qualify for competition, but neither the road car nor the race car had much in common with the 911. Was closer in relation to the 962. Won Le Mans in 1998.
Porsche 919 Hybrid
Quick Facts: Powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine hybrid. Won Le Mans in 2015, 2016 and 2017.