Porsche manager Wolfgang Hatz has hailed the performance of his manufacturer following its podium-winning return to the sportscar arena on the Silverstone 6 Hours.

The German made its high profile return to the premier level of sportscar racing at the 2014 World Endurance Championship opener, the manufacturer getting one of its 919 Hybrid's home on the podium in difficult conditions with a run to third.

Indeed, though Porsche couldn't quite replicate its impressive single lap form over the race distance when compared with the more experienced Audi and Toyota, Hatz was 'proud' to see the marque survive tough weather conditions to get onto the podium.

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"I am really proud. This was a proper comeback to the highest class of endurance racing. Preparation, operation, discipline in the garage and at the wheel of the two Porsche 919 Hybrids have been very good.

"The race itself was fascinating and this shows me that the new WEC rules work well - despite or even because of the great technical freedom. Three manufacturers, three innovative hybrid systems and exciting competition on the highest level. For me this is motorsport that contributes to road car development."

Still, it wasn't a fault-free return for Porsche with the No.14 car of Neel Jani exiting in the second hour of the race with mechanical difficulties having already lost a wheel after a pit-stop [pictured above]. Despite this, the Swiss driver was positive about his first impressions.

"Initially I had a good start, but in the first corner I went straight on and lost some positions," he said. "I had a bit of an issue with understeer, which made it difficult to follow the cars in front of me. On lap 24 I had a problem on the front left wheel and I had to pit again. The team got the car back on track within 16 minutes, which was a fantastic effort. Unfortunately on lap 30 we had to retire due to another problem."