10.04.2017    High tension expected for first duel of the season

The coming weekend, April 14 to 16, sees the Porsche LMP Team start the first out of nine rounds of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship. The six-hour race at Britain’s famous Silverstone Circuit will be the first duel between the reworked Porsche 919 hybrid and the latest Toyota TS050 Hybrid. Porsche, world champions and Le Mans winners in 2015 and 2016 respectively, targets the defence of both titles. But in England the team expects a difficult start. In support of the aerodynamic strategy for the entire season, the Porsche 919 Hybrids will run at the Northamptonshire circuit with significantly less downforce than the fast bends of the challenging Grand Prix track realistically demand.

The eagerly anticipated first race for the 27-car field gets underway on Sunday at 12:00 hrs. Track action on the 5.9 kilometre long Formula One circuit can be followed live from basically all over the world.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid has been widely reworked for the 2017 championship. 60 to 70 per cent of the Le Mans prototype’s components are new developments. This goes especially for the areas of aerodynamics, chassis and combustion engine. However, the power train in principle remains the same. The innovative hybrid race car develops a system power of around 900 HP (662 kW) that comes from a compact two-litre turbo charged V4-cylinder (nearly 500 PS/368 kW) and two different energy recovery systems – brake energy from the front axle combined with exhaust energy. The combustion engine drives the rear axle while the electro motor boosts the front axle with an output of more than 400 PS (294 kW). The electrical energy that comes from the front brakes and the exhaust system is temporarily stored in a liquid-cooled lithium ion battery.

The newly assembled line-up of the Porsche LMP1 works drivers feel well-rehearsed after winter testing and the WEC Prologue in Monza (IT). Reigning world champion Neel Jani (CH) has the number 1 on the car he shares with Nick Tandy (GB) and Porsche newcomer André Lotterer (DE). The number 2 sister car belongs to the two New Zealanders, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley, together with Timo Bernhard (DE).

“Porsche and Toyota operate on the same top level,” said Timo. “Small advantages for one or the other can vary from track to track with the respective aerodynamic strategies playing an important role. It will be very interesting to see how this turns out in Silverstone. The British fans are the best in the world – very enthusiastic and always unbelievably well informed. The last two years, unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to drive the car in the race. For 2017, I hope for a clean start to the season to build a strong foundation for the championship.”

Schedule (local time):

Friday, April 14 2017 
11:45-13:15 free practice
16:45-18:15 free practice

Saturday, April 15 2017 
09:40-10:40 free practice
13:30-13:50 qualifying LMP1 & LMP2

Sunday, April 16 2017 
12:00-18:00 race

TV and live streaming:

The official WEC App can be downloaded free of charge with an extended (not free of charge) version available which includes full live streaming and full timing. The live stream is voiced by the FIA WEC TV team including live interviews from the pits.

The WEC races can be followed on various international TV channels in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, North and South America as well as in the Middle East and Africa. 

Facts and figures:

- The WEC efficiency regulations limit the amount of energy that can be used per lap. In Silverstone, the Porsche 919 Hybrid can use 5.37 megajoule of electrical power from energy recovery systems and 1.504 kg/2.076 litres of petrol.
- At normal race speed the Porsche 919 Hybrid is due for refuelling after a maximum of 29 laps. 
- Refuelling and changing tyres may only be done sequentially, not at the same time. Only four mechanics may work simultaneously when changing tyres and also may use only one wheel gun at a time. That takes a lot longer than in F1, for example. 
- The drivers are normally only changed when new tyres are needed. 
- These different types of tyres can be used: three different compounds of slick tyres for dry conditions, a hybrid tyre (no profile either but softer cover) for mixed conditions and wet weather tyres. Four sets of dry weather tyres are available per car for qualifying and the race, this is two sets less than in 2016. 
- A lap on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit is 5.9 kilometres and has 18 corners. The first race track at the former military air base was opened in 1947.

Review:

- In 2016 the 919 of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb finished the race in second position. However, after the winning Audi failed scrutineering, the Porsche trio were awarded full points. Jani also set the fastest race lap in 1:40.303 minutes.
- The second 919 retired in an accident. On lap 71 Brendon Hartley, leading the race at the time, collided when lapping a GT car.
- Qualifying drivers were Hartley/Mark Webber (P3/1:54.150 min) and Dumas/Jani (P4/1:54.266 min) on a drying track.

All scores: http://www.fiawec.com/courses/classification.html
All results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com

Note: Text, image and video material on the LMP1 programme is freely accessible in the Porsche press database at https://presse.porsche.de. The LMP1 twitter feed @Porsche_Team broadcasts information, photos and video material live from the race track. Further live features from the races are available at www.porsche.com/fiawec. For further press content, please visit the Newsroom at www.newsroom.porsche.com. Video news is available at www.vimeo.com/porschenewsroom.

Go back