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Following on from our previous article detailing the history of Ferrari in the world of motor sport, we take a look at the Italian manufacturers biggest racing competitor over the years, Porsche.

Motorsport and Porsche are almost synonymous, and over the course of the last 61 years the world-famous manufacturer from Stuttgart has tasted success in numerous areas and categories of motorsport, winning races and championships on virtually every level of the sport. It is the most successful manufacturer by far in the history of international sports car racing.

Porsche's racing heritage can be traced all the way back to July 11, 1948. Porsche chassis No. 1 was not even five weeks old when Ferdinand Porsche's nephew, Herbert Kaes drove the car in the first race held in Austria after the war and brought home a victory in its class.

Porsche's motorsports reputation has been built through success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, victories and championships. Porsche went on a run to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1981 to 1987, and no less than a total of 16 times up to 1998; no other manufacturer can even come close to that record. Porsche has more than 50 class wins at Le Mans as well.


Porsche 911: The World's Most Successful Racing Car

(Picture Source: Total 911)

The Porsche 911’s racing heritage is almost a given, however, upon the car’s release to the public in 1964, its pedigree on the track took some time to develop, with only a handful of cars racing in the hands of customers during the 1965 season.

By the end of 1966, a Porsche 911 had finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time, but this was still an independent effort driven by the French duo of Jacques Dewe and Jean Kerguen. Arguably the 911’s crowning glory came during the GT1 era, when bespoke mid-engined racer took on the world, eventually coming away with overall victory in the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans in GT1-98 guise.


Other Famous Porsche Cars in Motor Sport:


Porsche is currently the world's largest race car manufacturer. In 2006, Porsche built 195 race cars for various international motor sports events, and by 2007 Porsche set a target to construct no less than 275 dedicated race cars.:


Porsche 917

(Picture Source: Porsche Blog)

Initially, the 917 was designed for endurance racing, entering races like the 24 hours of Le Mans. It found success winning the storied race in both 1970 and 1971. By adding turbochargers to the big V12 engine, the 917 would produce around 850 hp and win the 1972 championship. In 1973, the engine was enlarged and the 917 could now produce upwards of 1,500 hp in qualifying. The car went on to utterly dominate the season.


Porsche 959

(Picture Source: Pinterest)

When the Porsche 959 arrived at 195mph in 1986, it was by far the most technically advanced, the fastest and most capable hypercar ever conceived. But it's original purpose was designed to be a a Group B rally car.

The 959 finished in 1st & 2nd positions during the 1986 & 1987 World Rally Group B  Championship but was subsequently excluded from the sport as Porsche realised the production and maintenance cost of their high spec racing car was too much to return a solid profit.


Source: Petrolhead Arabia

Posted by Maye Rosales on 10th April 2017