Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg has become the first contemporary F1 driver to claim victory in Le Mans, since Johnny Herbert and Bertrand Gachot won in 1991.
“Nico’s performance displayed his immense talent and made all of us at Sahara Force India proud.”
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, made history when he became the first contemporary Formula 1 driver to win the Le Mans 24 Hours since 1991.
Driving the Porsche number 19 works car, the 27-year-old German took victory for the team alongside teammates Nicky Tandy and Earl Bamber on June 14, 2015.
Hulkenberg, whose best F1 results so far consist of two fourth places, was elated with his remarkable triumph in France.
He said: “I’m speechless right now, to be honest. It’s amazing to come here, first attempt. Super happy. We wrote history today.”
British driver Johnny Herbert, who won at Le Mans for Mazda with his French counterpart Bertrand Gachot in 1991, praised Hulkenberg’s performance.
Herbert tweeted: “Congratulations to @NicoHulkenberg @NickTandyR @earlbamber welcome to the Le Mans winners circle. Great job all round @PorscheRaces.”
Traditionally, F1 team bosses have been hesitant with letting their active drivers take part in the prestigious endurance race, held annually since 1923.
But Force India’s team principal, Vijay Mallya, did the opposite and gave Hulkenberg permission to join the race ahead of the Australian Grand Prix on June 19-21, 2015.
Mallya could not be more pleased with the outcome of his decision, as he tweeted:
— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) June 14, 2015
He said: “Nico’s performance displayed his immense talent and made all of us at Sahara Force India proud.
“I truly hope he will be boosted by this success and translate it into another great performance in Austria.”
In recent years, Audi have dominated the event, winning 13 out of the last 15 editions. While this marks the 17th victory for Porsche, it has not won since 1998.
Hulkenberg will be back in action in his 85th F1 race on June 19-21, 2015 with Force India, as he takes part in the Australian Grand Prix.
Images courtesy of 24 Heures du Mans - ACO Official Facebook, Porsche and AP
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