Porsche won the top prize at the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race for a record setting 19th time this past weekend. Its 919 Hybrid LMP 1 cars won the race of attrition after the faster entries from Toyota were sidelined with mechanical issues halfway through the race. In fact, Porsche’s winning car limped across the line as its drivers were forced to drive very conservatively in the final hours to avoid overstressing the hybrid electric powertrain.
After the race, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda suggested that the 24 hour contest may be too rigorous for hybrid technology, as both Toyota and Porsche experienced mechanical issues with the electric motors that are such a vital part of the powertrain under current Le Mans rules. Nevertheless, Toyoda pledged his company would continue in its quest to win at the La Sarthe circuit.