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Porsche wins Le Mans with Nico Hulkenberg, Mark Webber second, Patrick Dempsey second in GTE-Am

The world’s most prestigious endurance race, the Le Mans 24 hours has been won by Porsche.

The Porsche 919 hybrid race car – yes, that’s real hybrid tech used for racing – was driven to victory by 24-year old Earl Bamber from New Zealand, current F1 racing driver Nico Hulkenberg from Germany and Nick Tandy of the UK.  It was the first Le Mans for both Bamber and Hulkenberg, and the first win for a Kiwi since Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon in 1966.

Australian Mark Webber came second driving for Porsche, with team mates Brendon Hartley (again of New Zealand, where do these guys learn to race endurance?) and Timo Bernhard of Germany.  Both cars were in the top LMP1 class (LMP means Le Mans Prototype, and 1 is Class 2, the quickest cars).  LMP1 cars are nearly as quick as Formula 1 cars, and are the quickest closed-wheel racecars in the world, as distinct from open wheelers where the wheels are entirely uncovered.

Actor-race driver Patrick Dempsey came second in his class driving a Porsche 911.  Dempsey competes in the GTE-Am (amateur) for non-professional race drivers. 

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Third in LMP1 were defending champions Audis.

This was the 83rd time the Le Mans race has been run, and the 17th time Porsche has won it.

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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper