Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber and Nico Hulkenberg, Porsche, Le Mans, 2015

Hulkenberg wins on Le Mans debut with Tandy and Bamber

2015 Le Mans 24 Hours

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Nico Hulkenberg shared victory in his first attempt at the Le Mans 24 Hours with Porsche team mates Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber.

The Force India driver contributed to Porsche’s 17th victory in the classic endurance race, increasing the wins tally of the most successful manufacturer in the race. The number 19 car covered 395 laps.

Porsche’s 919s finish first and second after seeing off a race-long challenge from rivals Audi. Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard took second place, a lap behind their victorious team mates.

Last year’s winners Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer came third for Audi having made two extra stops for minor maintenance to the car including repairs to its engine cover.

Lucas di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis and Loic Duval took fourth place in another Audi. Duval suffered one of few incidents involving one of the front-running LMP1 cars after crashing on the approach to a slow zone early in the race. Despite heavy damage to the front nose the R18 Etron Quattro was swiftly serviced and returned to the fray.

The third Porsche of Romain Dunas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb finished fifth having started from pole position. The highest Toyota at the chequered flag was in sixth place – the car of Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway finishing eight laps adrift.

The last of the Audis was seventh, delayed by a driveshaft change, followed by the second Toyota.

Just one of Nissan’s trio of unconventional front-engined LMP1 racers saw the chequered flag. Michael Krumm, Harry Tincknell and Alex Buncombe were still running in 40th place at the end of the race, but only completed 242 laps in the last car still going at the end.

Hulkenberg is the first regular F1 competitor to win at Le Mans since 1991, when Mazda’s winning car featured Johnny Herbert (Lotus) and Bertrand Gachot (Jordan) in its line-up. However Lotterer started last year’s Belgian Grand Prix for Caterham after taking his third Le Mans win.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 192 comments on “Hulkenberg wins on Le Mans debut with Tandy and Bamber”

    1. Nico Hulkenberg hasn’t fulfilled his full potential yet
      I would like to see him in Ferrari or Mercedes in 2016
      Look at his achievements:
      2005 Formula BMW ADAC champion
      2007 A1 GP team Germany champion
      2008 Formula 3 Euro series champion
      2009 GP2 champion
      2015 Le Mans Winner :)

      1. That’s why no one understands how he didn’t have an opportunity yet in a F1 top team.

      2. @malik I completely agree, he deserves so much more than where he is now.

        1. @Strontium: But for the moment and using his words I feel super happy for him. I don’t think there is any motorsport fan who don’t like to see him winning :)

          1. Absolutely! GO HULK!!! (:

            1. Maybe a bit ambitious, but Hulk goes to Ferrari next year and wins in Monaco, then with no pesky third car in front of him Webber wins Le Mans, and we have two great guys with two of the triple crown.

            2. Yeah that certainly crossed my mind! Montoya to LeMans, Hulk to Ferrari, Webber to IndyCar! lol

            3. JPM needs to give Le Mans a go. I am certain he could win it and it would be awesome to have another driver win the Triple Crown.

            4. I’m sure he could win Le Mans. Will he give it a go? I dunno.

      3. If Raikkonen goes Hulkenberg deserves that second Ferrari seat. Definitely more so than Bottas who is the name I keep seeing in the press as the most likely replacement.

        1. @debaser91: The only problem for Hulkenberg that I see is that he is German, so the British media that dominates F1 overhype the other non-German drivers like Bottas and Verstappen especially Martin Brundle. I hope that Hulkenberg gets the Ferrari seat when Raikkonen retires.
          By the way I am ready for the attack now :)
          People don’t like to hear the truth if they don’t like it

          1. Oh no! you have discovered our secret conspiracy to not promote German drivers in the media

          2. I’m not so sure that’s true. The British media definitely overhype British drivers (Paul di Resta is one obvious example) but I don’t think they care either way about drivers of other nationalities.
            Sebastian Vettel certainly got plenty of hype in the British media when he was at Toro Rosso. He also got plenty of stick when he started winning things but that’s another issue. It seems everyone in the whole world is excited by Verstappen, it’s not just a British thing. A 17 year old in F1 and so far he has done not too bad, of course there will be interest. I’m not really sure why Bottas is so heralded, I mean he is good but I favour Hulkenberg myself. Maybe the whole ‘flying Finn’ thing with Bottas helps him in that respect.

            1. @debaser91: please go back to 2008 Monza and listen to Matrin Brundle when Vettel finished the race :)

            2. I don’t care what he said. Even if he wasn’t complementary, Martin Brundle is only one man and he does not represent the British media as a whole. I remember reading things in the press about Vettel being the next Schumacher many a time, and that only increased after that win at Monza.

            3. @malik – To quote Brundle:
              “Fully deserved”, “Brilliant drive”, “Faultless in difficult conditions”

          3. I’ve heard of Brundle being Hulkenberg fan, were they joking?

            1. I agree with you by the way. In terms of British drivers and British press. But that’s to be expected I guess. Though, I would prefer an impartial&international&professional broadcast.

            2. Yes I remember when Coulthard and Eddie Jordan were saying Paul di Resta was an outstanding candidate for a Mercedes drive lol. It didn’t really work out for him though because there was a backlash against him in the UK exactly because he was overhyped. Jenson Button got it to a similar extent as well in the early to mid 00s before he started to win things.

            3. That’s because Brundle can recognise talent, he battled with one A. Senna for the British F3 title way back when..

          4. I wouldn’t describe Marting Brundle as not hyping Hulkenberg, personally. He comes across as a fan of him and often talks him up in commentary.

          5. u r in a illusion mate martin brindle always backed hulkenberg ..If u watched last season F1 races at the starting he always embraced his fight with Alonso get our stats right.

          6. Brundle has been one of Hulkenberg’s largest and most vocal supporters, even when his praised wasn’t warranted. So I’m not sure how you can say that.

        2. I think Vettel & Hülkenberg would be a BRILLIANT line-up for Ferrari. They are similar to Hamilton-Rosberg in the way that they’ve had a journey together since they were kids. But I believe they are more level in terms of talent, so they would push each much more than those 2, and it would be brilliant racing for the fans!

          1. +1! I want Kimi to go away when he feels it (I suppose 2016) and then Hulk comes in! After Seb & Kimi, Seb & Hulk is the 2nd best match for Ferrari!

      4. #HulkToFerrari

        1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
          15th June 2015, 4:52


          1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
            15th June 2015, 4:53

            Plus, congratulations Hulk and not at least Porsche!!!

        2. #ForzaHulk

    2. Give him a competitive car and he can win in every motorsport category. He proved it again today.

      1. doesn’t it apply to every other f1 driver? Maldonado have a competitive car and won at Barcelona!

        1. @matiascasali I think you are over simplifying it a little. While most drivers in F1 have a good chance of winning a championship in the most dominate car, its a case of Hulkenberg having 0 chance of showing anything in the Force India, or a Sauber, or a Manner of this year.

        2. Maldonado have a competitive car and won at Barcelona


          Maldonado had a competitive car most of that season, and he crashed it at almost every opportunity he could find.

          1. Totally agree. But more useless was his teammate. Hulk in that williams would have done very well.

    3. The best Le Mans I’ve ever watched, including the ones I attended live (2008, 2011, 2013). The racing was relentless. Brilliant result for Nico Hulkenberg, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley, Neel Jani and the rest of the Porsche team!

      1. +1 superb!

      2. It was a brilliant win for Hulkenberg and co. Very exciting race to watch too.

      3. I’ve watched a few le mans over the years, not really a fan of WEC, but this year I think I may have actually be converted. I may now watch more races. The racing was hard and fast, the race over teh weekend was great.

      4. After that brilliant battle at Spa, and now this fantastic #24houroflemans, I’m thoroughly enjoying WEC! I still love F1, but I don’t miss ANY WEC now. Always something great going on and so much cool technology and talented drivers. AND…they seem to be positively promoting their sport, not tearing it down from everyone at the top down to the teams….like F1 is want to do. :(

    4. Poor old Mark Webber. Gets himself a good car in 2010 and gets beaten to the win by a younger German, Gets himself a good car in 2015 and gets by a younger German.

      1. Poor Alonso too :P He must hate Honda right now …

        1. Please let’s not start with the “Alonso would have win if it wasn’t for blablabla” rant….

          1. It’s funny you say that to me, I’m probably the biggest Alonso hater here… :p

            What I was trying to say : having an awful engine in F1 and not being able to participate in le Mans due to Honda, it’s gotta be tough for him.

            But hey, at least he earns 30 million a year or something…

            1. I’m not anybody’s hater. But I’m tired of hearing this relentless claims regarding Alonso. After I’d made that comment I saw an article talking about EXACTLY that, unbelievable…

      2. Cruel irony was that Webber caused his own loss. (overtaking under yellows). Sigh. Mark will never get his day…

        1. @david-beau Actually, it was Hartley that was responsible for earning the penalty for overtaking under yellows. It’s just that Webber was driving when the #17 car was penalised for it.

        2. actually it was Hartley.. anyway he hulk passed Webber on merit before the penalty.

        3. christopheraser
          15th June 2015, 2:29

          From the footage I have seen I’m not even sure that Hartley was at fault. It’s pretty harsh to give a 1 minute penalty for what looked like a clean move to me.

        4. No, it was not Webber. They were very clear that Hartley caused the penalty by overtaking under yellow right before he came in. When Webber took over, the stewards made “Car #17” take the penalty and Webber happened to be driving that stint.

      3. Hahahah i was about to write this

      4. @crackers I swear Mark is very unlucky. However, if I was to rank his talent, he’s definitely 2nd to Vettel, and I would say, he’s 2nd to a Hulkenberg. But in this case, he was just plain unlucky… But if you’re going to win Le Mans, you need lots of luck.

    5. 2017 McLaren line-up = Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.

      1. @dam00r Why should Hülkenberg go to McLaren? I´d imagine he´d rather switch to WEC fully than go backwards on the F1-grid.

        1. It may not be with Mclaren, but I suspect Hulkenberg would rather chase his with GP win than a second Le Mans. Having this in his resume would only make him even more attractive to the top teams. There had been whispers he was to be nothing more than a mid pack driver. It’s not an F1 win but a timely reminder of his talents.

      2. @dam00r And on top of that why would they choose Hulk above Vandoorne? Or Magnussen above either of them.

        I would not be jealous on the fools who sign contracts with Honda…

      3. @dam00r McLaren could have signed him for 2013 but chose Perez + £5m, which was a benefit for them in the end. They’d be best served now running Magnussen & Vandoorne and spending the extra £20m+ on building a top car!

        1. There were rumours that Hulkenberg’s height and weight were a factor in deciding on Perez over him. Magnussen and Vandoorne looks weak on the technical feedback front, which is important for car development.

          1. Magnussen and Vandoorne looks weak on the technical feedback front.

            @sharoncom Give me any article even remotely suggesting that.

            1. They are too inexperienced.

            2. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
              15th June 2015, 4:55

              Just HOW Sharon H? Explain.

            3. It’s rather self-explanatory one would think… How would you know that they are performing at a high enough level? There is almost no basis.


      5. No. Ferrari should DEFINITELY get the mighty Hulk.

      6. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        15th June 2015, 10:24

        mclaren has zero room with K-Mag and Vandoorne waiting in the wings

    6. Only one word – WooHoo!

      1. Never argue with…Racer X!!!

    7. Nico Hulkenberg just won a race for the first time since 2009, actually, and he was rather nonplussed about it during his interview – I’m sure he just didn’t realise what he achieved just yet.

      What a performance from the #19 Porsche.

      Was sad for Webber getting ‘only’ 2nd – I’m sure he will have his opportunities later on, he has to take just one to be a Le Mans winner.

      1. I think its kind of fitting for Webber to come home in 2nd behind a German @atticus-2 :-)

        1. Oh, the irony, @bascb. :)

      2. @atticus-2 “Not bad for a number 2 driver!” – I just had to say it :D. But this is a great win for talent – Hulkenberg, Bamber and Tandy. Was Bamber even racing anything in 2012 before Porsche gave him a chance?

        1. “Multi 1917”

        2. It was brilliant drive from all 3 drivers of #19. They really made the difference. It was a flawless drive that was translated into a magnificent result!

          1. +1

            They brought that car back without so much of a dent on it and had no penalties. That didn’t happen by accident.

    8. Congratulations to Hulkenberg and the Porsche team, a great Le Mans race.

      1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
        15th June 2015, 4:59

        So much better than F1 these days, isn’t it?

    9. Really pleased for all the Porsche guys, but I won’t lie – I love the fact that Nico Hulkenberg just won this race.

      So, so awesome.

      Hulk. Smash.

    10. Superb race ! Hulk and Tandy’s night stint won them the race !

      What a fantastic event ! I didn’t know who to chose. I wanted Mark to win and he’d have done it, maybe, without that penalty, but Hulk is my 2nd favourite so that works well for me !

      I’ve just watched 17 of the 24 hours and I’m ecstatic !

    11. Good race, even if on-track battles were lacking. Was nice to just sit back and enjoy racing without complications. Would have been better if the bottom half of the LMP1 field actually bothered to show up though…

      1. One can hope for a japanese resurgence next year.

        1. Only if Toyota, Honda and Nissan can get their hybrid systems working!

        2. @tony031r
          Nissan is a huge unknown for next year because they didn’t even have their hybrid system working so we have no idea what they can really do. And Toyota is going to be going to a turbo engine and most likely switching to batteries and the 8MJ category.
          So both Japanese entries will be complete unknowns next year. Could be great, could be a joke…but both Germans will come back STRONG. They take this stuff seriously and they are great engineering teams.

          1. @daved
            True. It’s Toyota that I’m putting my hopes on. That car they had last year was damn fast and I don’t see why with 8MJ they couldn’t propell themselves up into contention once again. Nissan on the other hand is a whole different story. Their issues seem to go way past their lack in hybrid power.

          2. they must have had some of it working, i read somewhere they were using it for front wheels, where originally they wanted to use it for rear wheels. they were doing 340kmh on the straights just like audi and porsche, they were just far slower in turns and very slow out of turns. i doubt they will make up 20seconds a lap in one year, when the others will continue developing forward, i think next year they will still be 4th of manufacturers, but hopefully only 5 seconds off the pace.

      2. “On track battles lacking”… rubbish. Clearly you were watching a different race.

    12. I watched just to see how Hulk did. I’m so happy he won – what a fairytale moment it must be for him!

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        14th June 2015, 17:39

        +1 – No doubt this must be a vindication for him! Not many F1 drivers can boast of winning LeMans. I just wish he could get a better drive in F1.

        1. I really hope Ferrari get him. But now he will be the only Le Mans winner on grid come Sunday in Austria. He should be the most popular guy there!!!

    13. As a massive Webber fan since ’02 I cannot hide I am dissapointed he did not win but as a lifetime Porsche fan I shed a few tears.

      1. And it’s so bad that but for his pass during yellow, he might have won it. He made his own bad luck this time, most likely.

        I really hope he’ll get his chances (and another series of good breaks) in the next few years.

        1. @atticus-2 I thought it was Hartley who made the pass on yellow. Webber had to do the time though.

          1. You are right, @xtwl, it was Hartley who committed the infraction.

            1. Oh, must have missed that. I thought it was Webber for that prolonged slow zone around Mulsanne corner and his electric – and tight – duel with one of the Audis. (I thought he made a mistake under pressure.)

              Thanks for clearing that up, though.


          2. I am pretty sure it was Webber who made the infraction though.

            1. @bascb It was Hartley. Webber had to do the penalty.

            2. @bascb it wasn’t, it was Hartley. The notification of the investigation came just as Mark was doing his 1st or 2nd lap of the day. It was later confirmed that it was Hartley’s incident that earned the penalty.

            3. Ah, thanks for clearing that one up then guys!

        2. @atticus-2 @xtwl I personally doubt the penalty made a difference. Tandy and Hulkenberg were just too fast into the evening and overnight, and even #17 frontman Bernhard couldn’t beat them. That is what I mean by an awkward result: Tandy and Hulkenberg were the two best Porsche drivers at Le Mans this year.

          1. @countrygent I agree the penalty would not have mattered. A well times SC that reduced the Porsche 17 lead by 32 seconds however did…

            1. Yes, the SC definitely came in handy for the #19.

            2. @xtwl Fair enough, and with the OTT penalty costing 1 minute 15 ish, that’s half a lap, but, what about the other half?

            3. @fastiesty It’s all ifs and buts but it was equally possible that the #17 was going to win. The #19 had quite some thing playing right into their cards but also that is needed in Le Mans.

            4. @xtwl I can understand that, at the time they were both close on the track and the penalty did start to create the gap. Without it, it’s interesting to wonder if the #19 would have simply pulled away or not..

            5. The #19 got a Safety Car group behind earlier on in the race. It’s swings and roundabouts.

            6. The point is there was a penalty. Because #17 overtook under yellow flags. Punished. End of.
              #19 didn’t make any mistake. In the end drivers might have very well made the difference.

          2. Absolutely best drivers: Tandy and Hülkenberg! They made the difference in the end, along with Bamber, with their flawless drive.

      2. Mark Webber looked very happy after the race, i am sure he was happy that this project he wanted to be involved with has come along so quick that they won, only he was in the other porsche car. he still looked mighty pleased. he has many more opportunities ahead of him in coming years.

    14. Right, I’m going out to buy a Porsche tomorrow.
      Not a 911 though, they keep setting themselves on fire…

      1. You can always go for the 919, then!

        1. @toiago I’d love to own a 964, and had the chance to buy a proper 904 but that was not the time sadly.

          1. @xtwl – I used to have a 964, I hope if you get one you enjoy it as much as I did!

            (also I hope your gearbox and electrics last longer than mine)

        2. haha, I think the price of those has just gone through the roof.

          1. if there are actually any left for sale (doubt any of the owners would like to sell it already)