Here’s What A Porsche Le Mans Champ Looks Like In Stuttgart Traffic
Images courtesy of Porsche
For a race car as successful as the Le Mans hat-tricking Porsche 919 Hybrid, the ultimate victory lap might not be found in either of the record-breaking runs at performed at Spa and the Nürburgring earlier this year in its unregulated Evo form, but rather a short drive down a public road at public road speeds.
There’s no need to get into the specifics of just how much the 919 Hybrid and Evo version have accomplished in competition both sanctioned and not (Lewis Hamilton took back the overall Spa record but needed an F1 car to do it, and Timo Bernhard’s 919 Evo Nürburgring time is likely to stay put at the top of the list for a while); we’ve gone over the car multiple times before, and you probably know it all by now anyway. You’re also probably familiar with the 919’s so-called “Tribute Tour” that saw the Evo version being trotted around the world to show off and do some hot laps, but yesterday morning it all came to a close with the tour’s final leg: a 25km-long drive between two points in Stuttgart. That seems pretty normal—thousands of people do that every day—but in this case Porsche was putting on a power play of sorts: the Point A address happens to be Number 911, Porschestraße, and the Point B is Number 1, Porscheplatz, where the cars were handed over to the museum after having a story read to them from a book dedicated to their accomplishments. A pretty big pat on the back, but one that was duly earned.
The city’s authorities allowed the cars to drive among the less exotic members of the morning commute—they likely wouldn’t extend to such a courtesy to any manufacturer other than this one—and after getting out of the WEC-spec 919 Hybrid, Stuttgart-born Marc Lieb was left with a unique memory: “Every day I take parts of this route from my house in Ludwigsburg to get to work in the Weissach office. Being in my Cayenne, from now on I will always remember how it looked from the 919’s much lower seat position.”
Marc Webber, who was on the driver’s roster for the car’s first Le Mans victory in 2015, was behind the steering wheel (or more descriptively, steering rectangle), of the Evo, and despite his accumulated seat time in 919s, the significance of this particular drive was not lost on him: “It’s typical of Porsche to try to manage something cool like this. The 919 and the years in the FIA World Endurance Championship mean a lot to me. It was an honour to bring the 919 Evo home now.”
After adding a significant piece to a legacy that’s full of them, the 919s will enjoy a cushy retirement in the Porsche Museum. Surely we’ll see them again in the future; cars that didn’t earn world championships might not have their high-tech startup and care procedures maintained over time, but we’re guessing these won’t be forgotten in the the unswept corners (figuratively of course—dust is likely not allowed inside a place located at “1 Porschplatz”).