Porsche has won the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans after dominating most part of the race despite sharing the lead several times with Audi. The #19 Porsche 919 crossed the finish line first with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg at the wheel, P2 was won by the #17 Porsche 919. Audi took P3 and P4 with the #7 and #8 Audi R18 cars while the #18 Porsche 919 of Jani Neel finished in P5. Toyota Racing finished in P6 and P8 with the #2 and #1 cars respectively. This brings the total number of Le Mans wins by Porsche to 17, still the manufacturer with the most number of Le Mans victories.
Corvette Racing won GTE-Pro with the #64 Corvette C7.R leading the #71 and #51 AF Corse Ferrari’s in P2 and P3 respectively. SMP Racing won GTE-Am class with the #72 Ferrari that shared the podium with the #77 Dempsey Porsche 911 RSR and #62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia.
The final hours were dominated by Porsche leading LMP1 class with the #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid in P1 and the sister car #17 in P2. Audi was running in 4th, 5th and 6th before Jani Neel managed to sneak in the #18 Porsche to 5th, the #9 Audi R18 moved further down to 7th with the #2 Toyota taking 6th. The #47 Oreca-05 Nissan continued to dominate LMP2 leading Jota Sport and G-Drive Racing who kept interchanging places between P2 and P3.
Aston Martin had the worst luck after losing both leads in GTE classes. First it was the #99 Aston Martin Vantage that crashed out of GTE-Pro leaving the lead to AF Corse and Corvette Racing. The #64 Corvette C7.R managed to hold the lead in the final hours away from the #71 and #51 AF Corse Ferrari’s. Interestingly the GTE-AM field was faster than most Pro cars, with the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari in P2 and just two cars behind the leading Corvette in Pro.
Aston Martin was leading GTE-Am until the #98 car crashed out ending their race prematurely and denying them the chance to take home a Le Mans victory. With quite a number of Porsche’s in retirement, the #77 Patrick Dempsey Porsche 911 RSR held on to P2 in GTE-Am leading the #62 Scuderia Racing Ferrari.
Despite struggling in the bottom of field Nissan Motorsports managed to finish the 24-hour race with one of their three cars. As first timers this is a great achievement as well as a learning experience as they prepare to take on future WEC races. The total number of retirements stood at 15 after the #53 joined in accompanied by the #21 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO among others.
The race has seen several incidents in the past hours including minor spins as well as crashes. The #18 Porsche crashed into the barriers last night which is one of the reasons it’s currently running in P6 and not up above with its sister cars. Signatech-Alpine also spun around into gravel bringing out the safety car for a brief moment.
The #22 Nissan hit an animal at the track shortly after midnight but managed to stay in the race. The #18 Porsche crashed into the barriers again, a new nose had to be fitted for it to continue racing. The biggest incidents of the night was caused by the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari when it caught fire in the pits, the car was pushed back into the garage. The #99 Aston Martin crashed into the #46 LMP2 Ligier at around 4am while sister car #96 Aston Martin crashed heavily while coming out of the Porsche Curves several hours later.