Secret Boss: Camped at Le Mans with Porsche’s CEO

At this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, racing fans at the Porsche staff camp were surprised by their neighbors.

For 75 years, from the boardroom to the assembly line, Porsche has been a family. Come early summer, when the conditions are just right in a certain corner of northwest France, the family wants to go camping.

Since its return to top-level endurance racing, Porsche has supported its factory campaigns at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a traveling fan base of employees who were all invited to camp together in the infield at the Circuit de la Sarthe. At the heart of the action, the Porsche staff camp has become an institution in recent years, a ringside seat at the world’s biggest race with an unrivaled party atmosphere.

With only 400 seats available for this year’s camp, a lottery system is used to select the winners. In 2023, applications were understandably high as Porsche Penske Motorsport competed for the overall win with the 963 for the first time. Richard Schramm, Executive Board Assistant for Human Resources and Community Affairs, manages this requirement and the task of managing Porsche’s annual exodus to La Sarthe. „We held a lottery in April and tickets were in high demand because it was a unique opportunity to go to Centennial Le Mans in 75.Th Year of the Porsche. More than 1,200 applied. We are giving away only 200 tickets to all winners who can bring a friend or partner.

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Le Mans is a nine-hour drive from Stuttgart, and on the Thursday before the race, the roads east of Baden-Württemberg were lined with a mix of camper vans, motorhomes and a variety of Porsche models – high-performance Caymans and 911s with several examples of the more practical, all-electric Taycan Sport Turismo. . The staff camp filled up steadily over the next two days, old friends reuniting and new friendships formed through shared anticipation of what was to come. And in one corner of the camp was a black 911 Turbo S, unusual only by its matching black roof tent.

100Th The staging of Le Mans means that the staff camp will play host to a number of special events. Along with the traditional barbecue and musical entertainment, factory drivers Andre Lotterer, Dan Cameron and Nick Tandy, one driver from each work car, visited the site to take part in a question-and-answer session and photo opportunity. They were joined by brand ambassador and 919 Hybrid veteran Mark Webber and representatives of the Racing for Charity initiative, which will donate €750 to three charities for every lap turned by the 963 during the race.

But for many, the most memorable moment of the weekend will be the rush. On race day itself, employees queuing for breakfast were greeted by the surprise sight of Oliver Bloom waiting in line with them. Eager to be at the center of the Porsche community on this momentous weekend in racing history, Porsche’s CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board came up with the unusual idea of ​​sleeping under canvas among his colleagues.

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Camping in the rooftop tent on top of the 911 Turbo

The 55-year-old joined his wife and for two nights they camped in a roof tent on top of his 911 Turbo, revealing to colleagues that it was actually very comfortable.

Even though the CEO has a packed weekend schedule, he still finds time to spend time with his fellow campers, watch the race and enjoy the unique atmosphere that staff camp offers.

„I’m lucky that through my job I can get as close to the action as anyone can dream of,” Bloom said over the weekend. „But this year was incredibly special: camping in a Porsche in the Porsche community, something I’ll never forget. The fans are at the heart of Le Mans and that’s what draws us back.

Following a challenging debut for the 963 at Le Mans, the sense of community at Porsche was stronger than ever. „On the Monday after the race, I sent out a survey for feedback on the whole experience, and a lot of people commented on how meaningful it was that our CEO was sleeping in camp and standing in line to get breakfast. . . He was in shorts and sandals, completely relaxed and part of the Porsche crew. liked

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