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Hulkenberg thrilled after debut win at Le Mans

14 Jun 2015

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg has won the Le Mans 24 Hours race sharing a works Porsche 919 Hybrid with British driver Nick Tandy and New Zealand’s Earl Bamber.

It was Hulkenberg’s first attempt at the epic endurance event, and Porsche’s first outright victory since 1998.

The trio’s #19 car came home a lap ahead of the second-placed sister #17 Porsche machine driven by Formula One veteran Mark Webber, former Red Bull F1 reserve Brendon Hartley and German racer Timo Bernhard.

“I enjoyed every moment," said Hulkenberg afterwards. "These cars are great fun to drive and then to be on a huge track like this one.

"The pace was really high, and not what you would expect from endurance racing. Of course, I didn’t think I would come here and rock ’n’ roll this race, this would be silly because there are so many challenges in that race.”

The German also thanked Force India for allowing him to take part, and in particular team principal Vijay Mallya who was present at Le Mans to witness his driver's success.

Hulkenberg is one of only a handful of recent drivers to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours race midway through a Formula One world championship campaign.

Though it was common in the past, the last driver to do so was Sebastien Bourdais, who raced for Toro Rosso and Peugeot in the respective disciplines in 2009.

Only four drivers in history have won both the Formula One world championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours overall - Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, Jochen Rindt and Graham Hill.