By: Glen Smale .
In 1951 a Porsche 356 SL finished 20th overall in the Le Mans 24 Hours, driven by French Porsche importer Auguste Veuillet and Edmond Mouche. So began Porsche's long history of excellence in the classic French endurance race, a story that has brought 16 overall victories — far more than any rival manufacturer — and still continues today, 60 years later.
This book covers every one of those 60 years, charting the successes and the failures of most of the Porsches that have raced at Le Mans, including both factory and private entries. It is thanks to the armada of enthusiastic privateer teams through the years that Porsche has achieved so much success at Le Mans, as there haven't always been official factory team entries. Endurance sports car racing is at the core of Porsche's motorsport heritage, and the experience gained in this tough arena has brought the company numerous victories across a range of classes. For many years cutting-edge design and outstanding technical innovation allowed Porsche's underdog cars to challenge the motorsport establishment, but 1970 saw the Stuttgart manufacturer move up from being a class contender to achieving its first outright Le Mans victory, with the awesome 917. Over the next three decades Porsche proceeded to add a victory at the rate of more than one every two years...
This magnificent book, compiled with Porsche's full collaboration, tells the whole story, race by race, through more than 600 photographs, many of them previously unpublished. The illustrations are accompanied by a detailed commentary that includes new information gleaned from the author's interviews with two dozen drivers, race managers and team principals.
About the Author
Glen Smale is a life-long motoring enthusiast whose writing has covered magazine features, books and automotive marketing. In 1993 he founded Automotive Research, which specialises in providing research services to the motor industry and related media. This is his fifth book for Haynes and a sister title to his Porsche 917: The Complete Photographic History.