At the premiere of the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC on the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, the #91 Porsche 911 RSR takes up the race on Sunday from the first grid row. Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) posted the second fastest qualifying time in the GTE-Pro class on the new Formula 1 race track in Texas. In the hunt for pole position, their factory driver colleagues Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) set the fifth quickest time in the second 911 RSR (No. 92) fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey.
This year in the WEC, two drivers must qualify one car. The grid positions for the race are determined by the average of the two fastest timed laps of each of these drivers.
Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “We are happy with this result. All four drivers did a great job, and drove virtually perfect laps. Patrick’s performance towards the end was just great. Now we need to make sure we do as well in tomorrow’s race.”
Patrick Pilet (#91): “We found an almost perfect suspension set-up for the qualifying. The car wasn’t easy to drive, but it was really quick in the corners. I hope we can find a similarly good set-up for the race and have a good chance at fighting for victory.”
Joerg Bergmeister (#91): “I didn’t quite get the qualifying right this time. In the beginning I couldn’t use the peak performance of the tyres that I had hoped for. But those were just minor hiccups. I’m pleased with position two on the grid.”
Richard Lietz (#92): “From my perspective it was a good qualifying. My tyres reached peak performance at exactly the right time. We managed that really well.” Marc Lieb (#92): “I didn’t really get a good feeling for the car today and couldn’t utilise the grip. That’s why my lap times were just average. But the race is long and I hope we’ll do better over the six-hour race distance tomorrow.”
1. Senna/Makowiecki (BRA/F), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:04.628 minutes
2. Bergmeister/Pilet (D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.270 second
3. DallaLana/Stanaway/Lamy (CAN/NZ/P), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.290
4. Kobayashi/Vilander (J/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.445
5. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.460
6. Turner/Mücke (GB/D), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.585
7. Bruni/Fisichella (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.832
1. Potolicchio/Aguas/Malucelli (I/P/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 2:06.515 minutes
2. Nygaard/Poulsen/Thiim (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.013 seconds
3. Gerber/Griffin/Cioci (ZA/IRL/I), Ferrari F 458 Italia, + 0.168
4. Hall/Campbell-Walter (GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.602
5. Narac/Vernay (F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.605
6. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.416
7. Bornhauser/Canal/Rees (F/F/BRA), Chevrolet Corvette, +1.617
Eurosport International televises the start phase of the six-hour race live on Sunday from 18.00 to 19.00 hours CEST. From 20.30 to 22.30 hrs, Eurosport 2 sends a live broadcast. The final phase can be seen live on Eurosport International from 22.30 to midnight. On the internet, the race can be followed live on www.fiawec.com.
In the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.