How a Silly Sticker Won Porsche Its First WEC Hypercar Race

How a Silly Sticker Won Porsche Its First WEC Hypercar Race photo
How a Silly Sticker Won Porsche Its First WEC Hypercar Race photo

Top racing series have hefty rulebooks to keep a leveled playing field—or try to, at least. Sometimes these make sense to the general audience, and others don't. NASCAR Cup driver Joey Logano recently got slammed with a penalty for something as silly as modifying his driving gloves, but this past Saturday's FIA World Endurance Championship race from Qatar showed us yet another funky rule.

Following the retirement of the No. 98 Peugeot 9X8 in the early stages of the 10-hour endurance race (1,812 km), the No. 6 Porsche 963 of Porsche Penske Motorsport driven by Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre, and Andre Lotterer held a commanding lead over its Hypercar rivals. With less than two hours to go, however, the Porsche was involved in a light collision with a Lexus GT3 car while slicing its way through traffic.


While the contact didn't mechanically hurt the Porsche, it managed to knock off its illuminated number place—which identifies the car to other competitors, fans, TV cameras, etc. This, it turns out, was a major problem, because per the rules, the car's number plate "must remain visible on both sides under all circumstances."


After more than eight hours of hard racing, Porsche Penske Motorsport faced a dilemma. One option was to continue racing and win—but face a penalty post-race. This would essentially mean dropping down the finishing order or maybe even facing disqualification. The other option was to fix the issue, but this wouldn't be quite so simple. Furthermore, a lengthy pit stop would allow the second-place, No. 93 Peugeot driven by former F1 racer Jean-Eric Vergne to take the lead.

The solution? A sticker. See, instead of replacing the complicated digital number plate, the clever folks figured out that a sticker would meet the rule requirements and get them out of hot water with the officials. I'm no vinyl expert, but I guess that a $5 or $10 sticker is what ultimately helped Porsche win its maiden WEC Hypercar race.