The Felbermayr Porsche entry is a firm favourite
Le Mans just wouldn’t be the same without some involvement from Porsche. Steve McQueen, Gulf, Rothmans, 917, 956, 962 and 911 GT1 - Porsche is woven deeply into the fabric of Le Mans folklore.
Porsche might have stepped back from the front line of sports car racing, but its racing cars are still crucial to the spirit of Le Mans. The two LMP2 RS Spyders are up against some tough competition, but both squads have speed and experience, while the 997 GT3 RSRs running in the GT2 class face more of a challenge - they’re outnumbered two to one by Ferrari F430s.
The two RS Spyders battle in the 2008 race
Of the two LMP2 RS Spyders, the Japanese Team Goh entry is looking likely to perform best. The team won outright in 2004 in an Audi R8, and driver Seiji Ara, part of that winning squad, is once again driving for the team. The car also has a proven track record - it’s the former van Merksteijn car, which claimed LMP2 victory in 2008.
The second LMP2 Porsche is the Danish-run Team Essex Porsche, which came second last year. The driver line-up is strong, but only Casper Elgaard is retained from the 2008 crew. Despite the promise of Team Goh’s set up, recent form is on Team Essex’s side - they beat all comers in their only race this year, the Spa 100km.
In GT2, and provided the cars don’t take each other out like they did last year, the Porsche teams stand a strong chance of fighting off the challenge from Ferrari, despite being outnumbered. Undoubted favourite is the slick, quick Felbermayr Proton entry (car 77), driven by Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Wolf Henzler.