Porsche is working hard to keep its emotions in check and focus on delivering the best performance possible in this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship season finale in Bahrain as it prepares to bid farewell to its LMP1 program.
The Porsche 919 Hybrid will make its last competitive appearance in this weekend’s Six Hours of Bahrain ahead of the German manufacturer’s withdrawal from the top class of sports car racing, announced back in July.
Since debuting in 2014, the Porsche LMP1 team has claimed 17 race wins, three overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, three drivers’ titles and three teams’ championships, making it the most successful LMP1 program in WEC history.
While the enormity of its swansong at the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday is clear for all at Porsche, team principal Andreas Seidl stressed it remains focused on securing the best possible result to sign off with.
Despite the drivers’ and manufacturers’ title having been wrapped up earlier this month in Shanghai, bragging rights to be the winningest LMP1 team this season is still up for grabs, with Porsche and Toyota each having claimed four victories apiece this year.
“At the moment, we’re trying to put all this aside, all these emotions, because we know we still have a race to do and we want to win it,” Seidl told Sportscar365.
“And at the same time, it’s also a matter of safety and so on. We have pilots being sent out there with 300 kph going down the main straight, so we will stay professional until the very last second of this race.
“Then I think it will of course be very emotional, because what we have lived through together in the last five years was special. We went through a lot of ups and downs together as a team.
“But at the same time I think, for me personally, I will also be very thankful that I could be part of this project in the last four, five years, that we could have all this success with Porsche.
“We all know as well that a project of this size would hardly be around in the future of motorsport, and that’s also something I have in mind at the moment.
“It was special to build that all up from the beginning, to have also the possibility to build it up from scratch, and then to get it step by step to such a level of perfection.
“It’s never perfect, but we had races where it was close to perfection.
“That is something special, and this is something I will miss.”
Remarkably, the car’s win percentage ratio over its four year-run is 48.6 percent.
Curiously, the various iterations of the Audi R18 LMP1 car that made its final WEC appearance in Bahrain last year also took 17 victories, albeit with a lower win percentage ratio of 41.4 percent.
John Dagys contributed to this report