Porsche have been the most successful car manufacturer at the 24 hours of Le Mans, notching up sixteen overall victories since the 1970s! However, the last of those victories were more than a decade ago with 1998 being the last year Porsche tasted the spoils of victory when Laurent Aïello, Allan McNish and Stéphane Ortelli won in a Porsche 911 GT1. After 1999 Porsche, along with most of the other manufacturers withdrew from sports car racing due to rising costs. This allowed Audi, as practically the last manufacturer to field a team to notched up ten wins from 2000 until this year’s race, making it the second most successful manufacturer.
Porsche’s run of success began in 1970 with the #23 Porsche 917 of Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood. The #23 Porsche 917 was powered by a 4.5-Liter flat-12 engine. In 1971 Porsche would taste victory again with the #22 Porsche 917 of Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep. However, it was from 1976 that Porsche dominated Le Mans winning ten of next twelve years with some of the best race cars ever built, such as the 2.1-Liter turbocharged flat-6 powered Porsche 936 and its successor, the 2.6-Liter turbocharged flat-6 powered Porsche 956!
Since 1998 Porsche has tasted victory at Le Mans but in the lower classes, however, as of 2014 Porsche will return to Le Mans to challenge for overall victory with a new LMP1 car!