Porsche will return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP1 prototype category next year, the first time it rejoins the top tier of the race since its 1998 win with the 911 GT1-98.

Of course, Porsche 911s have been found in the GT division in the interim, but the return to the LMP1 category means the company will be taking on its VW Group mate Audi in a division the four rings have dominated in recent years.

We expect a competition version of the 918 RSR to get the Le Mans slot (perhaps with Mark Webber at the wheel), and while details on Porsche's progress toward that end are still under wraps, the company is once again taking a look back at its previous successes.

Specifically, the 917's run at Le Mans in 1971. Setting records and pushing the boundaries of lightweight technology at the time, the 917 cemented its place not only in the record books, but in millions of hearts and minds.

Will Porsche be able to take on Audi's proven abilities after 15 years' absence? We'll find out next summer.