15.04.2017 Porsche 919 Hybrids to start from second row
Porsche, the reigning world champion team, will start third and fourth on the grid for the season’s opening race of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Silverstone with the two 919 Hybrids. Toyota secured a front row lock out for the start of the six-hour race on Sunday. For strategic reasons, Porsche’s Le Mans prototypes approach the fast Formula One circuit in Britain with significantly less aerodynamic downforce than the track layout actually would require.
In the WEC, the average of the two fastest laps of two drivers counts for the qualifying result. In Silverstone the qualifying drivers were Neel Jani (CH) and Nick Tandy (GB) in car number 1. They finished in position 3 (1:38.615 minutes). Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) shared qualifying duties in car number 2 and came fourth (1:39.063 minutes). Their respective partners – André Lotterer (DE) and Earl Bamber (NZ) – also did not drive in the morning session in order to help the Porsche LMP Team’s qualifying preparation. Third free practice saw the two Porsche 919 Hybrids in P2 (car number 1, 1:40.223 minutes) and P3 (car number 2, 1:40.373 minutes). The WEC experienced another day with sessions held in dry conditions on Saturday.
“For our car, qualifying didn’t go perfectly well,“ said Timo. “I made a small mistake on my first lap and had to start again, but then the tyres were over the peak. We actually looked quite good on our long runs in FP3. That’s all important information for the race. Then also strategic aspects come into play on top of sheer speed. We want to get as many points as possible. Perhaps we can catch one of the Toyotas.“
The season’s first six hour race gets underway on Sunday at 12:00 hrs (local time). Here is the international TV broadcasting plan: https://tinyurl.com/k3ql94s