Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers Bao Jin Long of China and Malaysian Alif Hamdan experienced first-hand the next chapter in Porsche success at the greatest endurance race of them all, the Le Mans 24 Hours.
During the exclusive trip, organised by Porsche China with the support of Porsche Motorsport, both Bao and Hamdan were given unrivalled access to the winning team, and a 360-degree experience of the fabled event.
Before witnessing Porsche achieve its 17th overall Le Mans victory at the 83rd running of the famous 24-Hour race, the drivers took a discovery hot lap of the track in a Porsche 911, met with Porsche GT factory driver Patrick Pilet and the team, and took a tour of the LMP1 garage with an up-close look at the incredible Porsche 919 Hybrid. The traditional drivers‘ parade and Porsche pre-race press conference were also on the busy agenda for the two young drivers.
But an undoubted highlight was meeting the three LMP1 teams, and particularly former Porsche Carrera Cup Asia rival, Earl Bamber.
Two time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion, and Porsche Mobil1 Supercup champion Bamber was on the Le Mans-winning team along with F1 driver Nico Hülkenberg and Nick Tandy, taking the coveted trophy exactly 45 years after Porsche achieved its first overall win at La Sarthe. Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and former F1 driver Mark Webber in the sister car came home in second, while Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb (GER) brought home the third Porsche 919 Hybrid in fifth.
For the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia duo it was a dream come true, made even more memorable by the resounding performance of Porsche in the race, but it also provided an insight into the powerful emotions motorsport elicits in the European continent. Said Bao: “My thanks to Porsche for giving me this great opportunity to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s my first time here and I’ve happily enjoyed every moment of the marvelous carnival, with all the passionate motorsports fans. I can really feel a different motorsports culture and it has touched me deeply. I strongly believe that one day I will race on this splendid track, and in the meantime I’ll do all I can to support the development of motorsport culture together with Porsche.”
For Hamdan, Le Mans marked a reunion with his close friend and mentor, Bamber: “It’s amazing to have this chance to be so close to the 24 Hours of Le Mans! Congratulations to my coach Earl Bamber for winning with the efforts of Porsche team. He is a hero who has grown from a Porsche Carrera Cup Asia driver to a Porsche works driver in just a couple of years. I was profoundly inspired by the passion and the professionalism of the leading drivers here.”
Excited, impressed and inspired by their visit to the greatest sportscar race on earth, both Bao and Hamdan travelled back to Asia with their ambition strengthened and a very clear goal – to one day race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.