14.04.2017 Porsche fully focused on preparing the 919 Hybrids for the race
The tension ahead of the first battle between Porsche’s and Toyota’s Le Mans Prototypes is increasing. In the first free practice sessions of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s curtain raiser on the 5.9 kilometre circuit in Silverstone (GB), Toyota topped the time sheets. However, this doesn’t come as a surprise. While Porsche runs in low downforce in Silverstone to favour its overall 2017 aerodynamic strategy, the Japanese competitor is well equipped with a high downforce aero package in Silverstone.
In the first of the two 90-minute practice sessions in the morning, the two Porsche 919 Hybrids came second and fourth. In the afternoon session, that was the overall faster one, the 919s finished third and fourth respectively. In both sessions the Porsche with car number 2 of Earl Bamber (NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) was the faster one. This crew’s best lap time was achieved by Bamber in 1:40.500 minutes. At the wheel of the number 1 sister car, shared by reigning world champion Neel Jani (CH), André Lotterer (DE) and Nick Tandy (GB), it was Lotterer who put in the fastest lap in 1:41.201 minutes. At ambient temperatures of around 13 degree Celsius and cloudy skies, the track was dry in both WEC sessions.
The qualifying for the Le Mans prototypes will be tomorrow (Saturday), from 13:30-13:50 hrs (local time). The six-hour race gets underway on Sunday at 12:00 hrs (local time). Here is the international TV broadcasting plan: https://tinyurl.com/k3ql94s
“Generally it looks good. We have been concentrating on the car’s set up for the race,” said Timo. “The 919 feels fine and we’re positive. Our friends from Toyota look very strong but you have to consider they did work for qualifying today and therefore the ultimate lap times are not comparable. We definitely had a good long run and this is promising for the race.”