Six past winners met up for one last stint around the famed Circuit de la Sarthe.
The global pandemic has affected everything from concerts to sporting events, and motorsports are among these. Fortunately, motorsports are slowly returning with strict protocols, which has meant that this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans is proceeding. Even better news about Le Mans has just reached us: Porsche took six of its past 19 race-winning cars to the spectacular event and the resulting photos are just breathtaking.
Among the cars present was the one that gave Porsche its first outright victory: the hallowed 917 KH from 1970. Despite being 50 years old, this legendary machine still looks incredible today.
Other cars that joined the stunning gathering were the 917 KH from1971, the 936/81 Spyder of 1981, the 962 C from 1987, and the 911 GT1 from 1998. The road-legal version is special too, as that car is one of the most expensive Porsches ever sold. Also present was the most recent winner, 2017's 919 Hybrid. As you can see from the pictures, the cars got driven properly around the track to celebrate the occasion, although we're quite certain they were told to take it easy. A crash with these legendary machines would be depressingly expensive. Nevertheless, the sound of them running at all would surely have been something wonderful to behold.
Looking at these cars, there's been quite a lot of progress since 1970. The 917 KH weighed just 1,763 pounds and its 4.5-liter 12-cylinder engine powered only the rear wheels with 572 horsepower. Compare that to 2017's 919 Hybrid: a 2.0-liter V4 turbo with 493 hp powering the rear wheels while an electric motor over the front wheels produces 394 hp. That's a total of just under 888 hp. With all-wheel-drive and a far greater focus on safety, you'd expect it to be heavier, but thanks to space-age composites and other materials, the 2017 car was just 166 pounds heavier than the 1970 car. Hopefully Porsche can get back to winning ways and transfer more of that tech to road cars.