In celebration of its iconic 70th anniversary this year, Porsche entered the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans with a pair of Manthey Racing-run 911 RSRs wearing historic Porsche Le Mans liveries from the 1970s and 1980s. The #91 RSR wore an iconic blue-and-white finish with red and gold stripes in homage to the iconic Rothmans liveried Porsches, while RSR #92 adopted the 1971 917/20’s famous “Pink Pig” livery. This turned out to be a masterful celebration of heritage, as both 911 RSRs pulled off a fantastic one-two finish in the GTE-Pro class, with the #92 RSR finishing first in class after completing 344 laps.
#92’s works drivers Kévin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor and Michael Christensen managed to hold the lead and control the race for almost the entire distance, finishing off this impressive lights to flag performance by taking Porsche’s 106th ever class victory. Driven by Richard Lietz, Frédéric Makowiecki and Gianmaria Bruni, its sister RSR #91 took second in GTE-Pro and rounded off a perfect Porsche double victory. France’s Frédéric Makowiecki deserves a special mention here, having engaged a competitor in an epic duel lasting over 90 minutes, brilliantly defending and counter-attacking to hold second place. Both victories allow Porsche to extend its lead in the 2018 FIA WEC drivers’ and manufacturers’ world championships.
The #93 911 RSR had a more challenging time as technical problems dropped the car down the order as night fell on La Sarthe. The repairs cost Patrick Pilet, Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy 25 minutes in total and the trio ultimately finished eleventh overall. Other Porsche teams competing in the GTE-Am class also found success, with Dempsey-Proton Racing’s #77 911 RSR finishing first in class and took the 107th Porsche class victory thanks to an impressive drive by Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell, Christian Ried and Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer who is now the youngest Le Mans class winner at just 18 years of age. Although Dempsey-Proton Racing’s #88 911 RSR retired with suspension damage, Proton Competition’s #99 RSR managed to finish fourth in class after a solid drive, just missing out on the podium.