Porsche Looks Back At 75 Years Of Motorsport Success

Motorsport / 2 Comments

The trophies include 19 overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Porsche is undoubtedly one of the most successful manufacturers in motorsports, reflecting its determination to strive to go faster. Now that the company is celebrating its 75th anniversary, we look back at the brand's most significant achievements since introducing its first sports car, the 356 'No. 1' Roadster, in 1948.

For the first 25 years, Porsche started to gain attention from its endurance racing stints, with a first-class victory at the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans making people turn their heads to the brand. The automaker also gave an opportunity to Female Belgian race car driver Gilberte Thirion to make a name in a male-dominated sport, securing the front row in a Porsche 356 in 1953.

One of the earliest Porsche drivers, Hans Hermann, scored a class victory with the 550 Spyder and came in third overall at the 1954 Carrera Panamericana. Two years later, Umberto Maglioli drove his 550 A Spyder to overall victory in the Targa Florio. It is marked as the brand's first win over Ferrari and Maserati.

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In 1962, Porsche cemented its first Formula 1 win, with Dan Gurney at the helm of the 804 at the French Grand Prix in Rouen. The Zuffenhausen-based team won the European Hill Climb Championship in 1966 and the Monte Carlo Rally three times in a row in starting 1968.

But it wasn't until 1970 that Porsche had its first overall win at the Le Mans, which was repeated the following year. The team ran with the legendary 917 and 908/03, with Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood bagging the brand's first overall win in the 917 KH. That year was also when Herrmann decided to retire as part of his promise to his wife to walk away from the sport if he won.

Porsche continued to dominate Le Mans in 1982 as it took victory in nearly every class and special classification. Leading the way was the Porsche 956, which was the first racing car with a monocoque chassis and ground effect. It was powered by the brand's flat-six twin-turbocharged engine with 612 horsepower.

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The following silver year (1983) saw the 'Tag Turbo made by Porsche' engine developed for McLaren International, fitted in the McLaren MP4 F1 racing car. From 1984 to 1986, the car dominated the sport with 25 Grand Prix wins and three championships.

Rallying is also part of the brand's motorsport journey as it won the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally in the 911 Carrera 4x4 (953) driven by Rene Metge and Dominique Lemoyne. This was the same result in 1986 with the same driver pairing in the Porsche 959.

The 1984 Dakar-winning car was brought back last year in the 992 generation as the 911 Dakar, a fitting tribute to the iconic, dirt-busting 911 from 33 years ago.


In 1986, German race car driver Hans-Joachim Stuck achieved his biggest dream of winning at Le Mans. The following year, he repeated the achievement.

Porsche also has its one-make racing series. In 1990, Olaf Manthey got the victory in the first Porsche Carrera Cup, going up against 40 identical 911 Carrera 2 models.

From the 50th to 75th year, Porsche has continued to tally wins that help bolster its name as one of the best in the game. It was in 1998 when the brand secured its 16th overall victory at Le Mans, which was driven by Laurent Aiello, Allan McNish, and Stephanie Ortelli.

At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche currently has the most overall victories with 19 wins, followed by Audi and Ferrari with 13 and nine wins, respectively.


The Porsche RS Spyder sports prototype was the highlight of 2005. Porsche entered the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in the same year, where the car won its first race at Laguna Seca in California. Porsche factory driver Timo Bernhard brought the car to victories at the ALMS 2006, 2007, and 2008 seasons.

Ten years later, the Porsche 919 Hybrid scored a three-peat from 2015 to 2017. Outside racing proper, the 919 Hybrid currently boasts the fastest lap time around the 12.9-mile Nurburgring Nordschleife, conquering the Green Hell in 5:19.546.

As the industry is shifting to electrification, the automaker is contributing to a more sustainable future by joining Formula E. The Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E team proves its brilliance with a historic one-two finish in Mexico in the Porsche 99X Electric last year.

For the upcoming years, Formula 1 could be the next step for Porsche's motorsports journey after reportedly trying to enter the race series. However, a report last March 2023 revealed the company was giving up on becoming part of the pinnacle of motorsports.

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