Le Mans 24hr - Nico Hulkenberg and Porsche secure historic victory

Nico Hulkenberg and his Porsche team were left to celebrate wildly after clinching victory in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans race on Sunday.

Porsche 919 Hybrid driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany celebrates after winning the Le Mans 24-hour sportscar race in Le Mans, central France, June 14, 2015
Porsche 919 Hybrid driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany celebrates after winning the Le Mans 24-hour sportscar race in Le Mans, central France, June 14, 2015

Nico Hülkenberg, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber secured overall victory for the #19 Porsche 919 at the 2015 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours, ahead of the sister #17 machine, at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The trio, driving a third car entered only for Le Mans and the preceding round at Spa Francorchamps, claimed the lead of the race early on in the night and were never headed thereafter.

A four way fight for the lead had developed during the early stages of the race between the #19, the #17 Porsche and the #7 and #9 Audis.

But the #17 Porsche was handed a stop and go penalty for overtaking under yellow flags, while the #7 Audi hit troubles as bodywork flew off the machine before suspected hybrid issues affected both cars.

That left Force India driver Hülkenberg, Tandy – who put in a strong performance during the night - and Bamber to claim their first victories in the LMP1 class at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Hülkenberg becomes the first active Formula 1 driver to win Le Mans since 1991 and the first rookie to take overall honours in the race since 1998.

Porsche completed a 1-2 finish as the #17 of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard ensured it was a fine result for the manufacturer, while third went to the #7 Audi.

In the LMP2 class the #47 KCMG claimed victory despite a few wayward moments across the race, while the #64 Corvette and #72 Ferrari took honours in the GTE Pro and GTE Am categories respectively.

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