- Published: Thursday, 22 June 2017 10:42
Porsche celebrated the 24h of Le Mans, with its own fun-filled event that saw its fair share of intense motorsport action
Photos: Porsche Singapore, Yang
SINGAPORE - The 24 Hours of LeMans is the world’s oldest, and one of the most prestigious sports car races on the calendar. The 2017 edition saw competitors race for a total of up to 4,991km, with an extraordinarily high rate of attrition that saw all cars in the top LMP1 class encounter problems at some point.
Meanwhile, as the race in France reached its closing stages, the action halfway round the world was heating up, as the 2.4h of Singapore got underway - an endurance kart race organized by Porsche Singapore at the KF1 Karting Circuit. It might have had only one tenth the duration, but the action was certainly much more than that.
Competition was tough with a handful of seconds covering the entire field's qualifying times
As with the first iteration in 2016, the 2.4 Hours Of Singapore was formulated to give Porsche owners and fans the experience of a real endurance race, as well as all the teamwork and strategy that comes with it. For 2.4 hours (144 minutes), participants in 12 teams of three duked it out to be the one to complete the greatest number of laps.
The race kicked off at 1736h with fair weather with a special motorsport-liveried 911 as the race starting ‘safety’ car. Everything was running well for the first half hour, until Mother Nature stayed true to the spirit of Le Mans (or Singapore anyway), and threw everybody a curve ball in the form of an intense thunderstorm.
Some say the bottom half of the white suit turns yellow during endurance races...
With lightning overhead, racers skidding off left and right and the track starting to resemble the nearby Kranji reservoir, the race was red-flagged and re-started at 1900h leaving a one hour sprint to the finish on a still-sodden circuit.
In the end, defending champions Snamel Dream Team (above) managed to retain their crown, winning the race by a mere 12 seconds over a anonymous second place underdog team, which qualified only in sixth.
More fun than a slip and slide! KF1 Karting circuit in the wet
In addition to the race itself, the event was also open free to the public, with a whole host of other activities to take part in. Slot cars and racing simulators were on hand to fuel the competitive spirit, Lego sets and face painting kept the young ones entertained, and the 24h of Le Mans was also broadcast live.
More importantly, the event also highlighted a rarely-discussed facet of car ownership, the social aspect. Although there was competition and prizes at stake, the atmosphere between the racing teams was casual and friendly, and allowed owners to build a camaraderie around a shared passion.
Motorsport Sunday can also mean Family Sunday
While it might sound weird to compare a 144-minute kart race to LeMans, the spirit of competition and respect amongst competitors was quite evident on the ground in the same way it is at LeMans. Many attending the event expected a Toyota victory, sadly that was again not to be, and Porsche triumphed through a combination of dogged repairs and sustained high pace. Nobody could predict that outcome of course, but both the 24h Of LeMans and 2.4h of Singapore showed the importance of motorsport and competition isn’t all about winning.