Porsche fends off Mercedes in the 24 Hour spectacle
With Stuttgart neighbor Mercedes on the rampage, Porsche had trouble on the track in the late 1990s GT1 era. But when it was essential to pull out a win at Le Mans to celebrate Porsche’s 50 years of making cars, the GT1/98 had what it took.
Planning for Le Mans
As early as their drive home from Le Mans in 1997, Porsche racing chief Norbert Singer and racing engineer Herbert Ampferer started scheming their plans for the 1998 season. It would be a crunch year for Porsche’s revived racing program, which was now under heavy attack from Mercedes-Benz. They were leaving a Le Mans that saw one works GT1/97 burst into flames and the other spinning and breaking an axle. Recovery from that fiasco would be essential. Moreover, wheels were already turning at Zuffenhausen to celebrate 1998 as the company’s 50th anniversary of manufacturing. Something special was expected from the racers to support it.
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