Sixteen years since it last raced at Silverstone in the FIA GT British Empire Trophy Race in 1998, the iconic Porsche 911 GT1 ’98 will return to the world-renowned track in Northamptonshire this coming weekend (26 – 27 July) when it participates in the Silverstone Classic motor racing festival.
This particular Porsche holds a very special place in the heart of the Stuttgart sports car company and race fans around the world, as it is the actual winning car from the 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours – and scored the most recent of the unrivalled tally of 16 outright victories achieved by Porsche in the famous French endurance racing event.
Since the 1998 Le Mans race, the victorious GT1 ’98 has been part of the Porsche Museum collection in Stuttgart. However, as part of the ‘Rolling Museum’ it spends little time dormant for it keeps active participating at events around the world such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Silverstone Classic.
The story of Porsche participation at Le Mans opened a fresh chapter in 2014 when the new works Porsche Team of technologically-advanced 919 Hybrid LMP1 race cars lined up on the grid in June. In a double bonus for the Silverstone Classic, Porsche works driver Brendon Hartley will be behind the wheel of the GT1 ’98 this weekend in the ‘90s GT Legends’ demonstration runs.
Brendon (24) from New Zealand scored a podium finish at Silverstone on the debut of the Porsche Team in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in April, when together with his teammates Mark Webber (AUS) and Timo Bernhard (D), he finished third in the Silverstone Six Hours race.
And at Le Mans in June, Brendon’s #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid became the first Porsche to lead the race overall in 16 years.
Brendon and the 911 GT1 ’98 will be on track at Silverstone in the ‘90s GT Legends’ demonstration on Saturday at 17:20 – 17:45, and on Sunday at 16:20 – 16:45.
The coming months will see further Porsche highlights at various events including the ‘Classics at the Castle’ in Hedingham, Essex (7 September), Goodwood Revival (12 – 14 September) and the Brands Hatch Porsche Club Festival (20 September).