Le Mans, FRANCE. — “At first, I looked around without finding the car of my dreams: a small, light sports car, using energy efficiently. So I decided to build it myself.” When Ferry Porsche began designing the first Porsche-styled car in 1947, it already had an innovative and precise vision of the philosophy it wanted to infuse into the brand. Approved on June 8, 1948 in Klagenfurt, Austria, this vehicle received the name of 356 No.1 Roadster. This philosophy, dear to the brand, has shaped the company for more than 70 years.
Between 1948 and 1950, Porsche produced 44 coupes and 8 cabriolets type 356/2 in Gmünd, Austria. Thanks to their aluminum bodywork, excellent aerodynamic efficiency and high torsional rigidity, the light alloy coupes proved to be perfect for the competition. The 356/2 coupes weighed about 120 kg less than the 356 built by Reutter’s in Stuttgart from April 1950. They are the first German sports cars to display the initials “SL”, short for “Super Light” from the Italian “Super Leggera”. This is how Porsche debuted at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time in 1951. The 356 SL quickly won the category of 1100 cc and repeated the feat in 1952.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans write history, Le Mans Classic tells it. Porsche and Le Mans is a story that has lasted for almost 70 years. It is therefore naturally that Porsche France has chosen this high place of motor racing to erect in 2015 its Porsche Experience Center (PEC) and Le Mans Classic will be the culmination in France of the celebration of 70 years of sporting brand .
Historic Porsche Museum and Porsche Classic Models
The festivities will begin on Friday, July 6 with a welcome at the Porsche Experience Center, which will offer activities, restaurants and exhibitions of historic vehicles of the brand, all punctuated by the qualifying practice of the Porsche Classic Race Le Mans will be held in parallel on the mythical Circuit of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This program will be accessible to visitors holding the “Le Mans Classic” package, available for purchase at www.inscription-porsche.fr.
What better model than the 356 No.1 Roadster, homologated June 8, 1948, to celebrate the “70 years of sporting” brand. Visitors can admire it at the PEC alongside famous models from the Stuttgart Porsche Museum: 356 SL coupe from 1951, 906 Carrera 6 from 1966, 908/3 from 1970, 911 Carrera 2.8 RSR from 1973, 911 2.5 S, or 911 GT1 of 1998. What to trace each decade of the sporting history of Porsche.
These models, exposed to the PEC, will then be at the heart of the Parade 70 years of sports scheduled on Saturday, July 7 from 14:00. Stéphane Ortelli, a guest of this edition of the Le Mans Classic, will take over for the occasion the driving of the 911 GT1 with which he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998, just 20 years ago. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the weekend.
For this historic anniversary, two distinguished guests will make us the honor of their presence: Felix Porsche, grandson of Ferry Porsche, founder of the brand, and Felix Lange, cousin of Felix Porsche and grandson of Ferdinand Piëch. Moreover, a signing session is scheduled for Saturday, July 7 at 16:30 with renowned drivers who have made or still make vibrate the passionate of the brand: Gerard Larrousse, Henri Pescarolo, Romain Dumas, Derek Bell, Stéphane Ortelli or Mathieu Jaminet. A unique opportunity to interact with those who have written the most beautiful pages in the history of motorsport at Porsche.
Porsche Classic Race Le Mans
Following the Parade 70 years of sporting Porsche, and as a prelude to the race of Le Mans Classic which will start at 16:00, Porsche France, in collaboration with Peter Auto, will bring together an exceptional plateau that will confront 70 Porsche historic on the mythical circuit 24 hours of Le Mans. This race will feature models ranging from the first 356 (1952) to the 911 2.8 RSR (1973). Series versions such as the 356 A and B, 911 2.5 S and 3.0 RS, 914/6 or prototypes by invitation: the list of cars present promises to be exceptional.
The start of the Porsche Classic Race Le Mans will be given ” launched ” Saturday, July 7 at 2:20 pm for a duration of 55 minutes. The day before, competitors will have the opportunity to play two qualifying sessions of 30 minutes (the first at 13:00, the second at 21:00). The race will lead to a scratch classification and a ranking to the performance index. The plateau of the 2.0L Cup created this year by Peter Auto will be integrated into the Porsche Classic Race Le Mans. Recall that this new series is reserved for Porsche 911 2 liters short chassis complying with the pre-1966 FIA regulations. This race will also be broadcast live on the Facebook page of the Porsche Carrera Cup France (https://fr-fr.facebook.com/PorscheCarreraCupFrance).
The Biggest Porsche Gathering of the Year
Passionate fans of the brand, Porsche Club members will be in the spotlight during this 2018 edition of Le Mans Classic. A car park of more than 600 seats, entirely reserved for the Porsche Classic models and worth the detour, will welcome the participants. In addition, the Porsche Classic Partners network also responded to this exceptional event with the presence of the Porsche Classic Rouen Center and the Porsche Classic Partner Vélizy.
Throughout the event, from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 July, exhibitions of mythical models, baptisms, events around the 70 years of the brand and meetings with legendary drivers will make this moment an unforgettable experience. And since there can be no passion without sharing, Porsche France will take advantage of its presence at Le Mans Classic to organize a contest on these social networks. In addition, each day will be punctuated by a highlight “Family Photo 70 years #SportscarTogether” for which Porsche France invites all of the Porsche community present on the spot, moments that will certainly remain in the history of the brand in France . The terms of the contest as well as the meeting points of the “70 years old family photos #SportscarTogether” will be available soon on the social networks of Porsche France.
Friday, July 6, 2018
13h00 – 13h30: Porsche Classic Race Le Mans qualifying rounds
21h07 – 21h42: Porsche Classic Race Le Mans qualifying rounds
Saturday, July 7, 2018
14h02 – 14h15: Parade “70 years of sporting Porsche” 14h03 – 14h13: Pre-grid Porsche Classic Race Le Mans 14h22 – 15h17: Porsche Classic Race Le Mans
15.45: Award ceremony at Porsche Experience Center 4.00 pm: Le Mans Classic start
4.30 pm: Signing session at the Porsche Experience Center