Stuttgart. Solid qualifying performance from the newly formed Porsche Team with the two Porsche 919 Hybrids in the World Endurance Championship (WEC): After three free practice sessions with no problems, the first qualifying was also trouble free. Drivers Romain Dumas (FR) and Neel Jani (CH) achieved an average lap time of 1 minute 43.087 seconds and qualified the 919 Hybrid in third place on the grid for the opening race in Silverstone (GB). Team mates Mark Webber (AU) and Timo Bernhard (DE) qualified sixth with no. 20 sister car (1 minute 43.226 seconds) for Sunday’s six hour race. Pole position went to the Toyota drivers Alexander Wurz/Kazuki Nakajima. The small time difference between all LMP1 works cars is remarkable: It is less than 0.5 seconds between pole position and sixth place.
In the WEC qualifying is split into classes. The LMP1 and LMP2 classes share 25 minutes on track. Two drivers from each car have to do two timed laps each. The average times from those four lap times make the grid positions.
Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development of Porsche AG: “I am happy with the result. The entire crew and the drivers have put in a good performance. Despite having put the focus of our development on the 24 hour race in Le Mans, we are here at the same level as Toyota and Audi. We should not take this for granted and we also are aware that we have not exploited the full development potential of the car yet.”
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “Positions three and six are more than satisfactory for our new team. We have tough months of preparation work behind us. We used to say: who takes time to breath has lost the battle. I feel very happy for every single team member.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal LMP1: “We have managed another new challenge today. It was rather surprising for us to be so close to our competition here, as Silverstone does not favour our car too much. Positions three and six are absolutely okay. Now we will concentrate on our preparations for the six hour race.”
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid #14
Romain Dumas: “It was a successful qualifying for us, and I am happy with third place. It is a very close competition and we have made further progress. My laps were good despite a small mistake on the first one. Now we look forward to tomorrow and to finishing our first race. Our car ran without any problems, but we still have a lack of experience with the Porsche 919 Hybrid.“
Neel Jani: “It was our target to be competitive and we have managed that by coming third. Next to be ticked off from the list is to complete the race distance, and then we shall see where we end up. Romain did a great job on new tyres, this was good team work.”
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid #20
Timo Bernhard: “It was tough competition today, and the lap times of the front runners are extremely close. The car was a bit tricky to drive and we kept working on the set-up and balance in free practice three despite simulating qualifying. I think we are looking fine for the race.”
Mark Webber: “One hour of free practice wasn’t a lot to get two guys and the car ready for qualifying and to practice the qualifying procedures. Nevertheless, we had an eye on race preparation and kept doing set-up changes. In qualifying we might have left a bit of performance out there, but the team did a very good job. A possible wet race would give us an extra challenge on the operational side as well as on track. Despite the temporary four-wheel drive, any race car on the limit in the wet needs the maximum respect.”
The Porsche 919 Hybrid:
With two different energy recovery systems the Porsche 919 Hybrid is the most complex race car the sports car manufacturer has ever built, and serves as the fastest mobile research laboratory for future road cars. The lightweight prototype is trimmed for extreme performance and efficiency. Besides the kinetic energy recovery system (MGU-K) under braking, the 919 Hybrid recuperates thermal exhaust energy (MGU-H) when accelerating. The combination of these two systems means a step into unknown territory for Porsche and a unique feature in the entire WEC. When the driver recalls the stored energy from the liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery packs, an electric motor drives the two front wheels with more than 250 hp. This power adds to the over 500 hp combustion engine (downsizing 2.0 litres V4-cylinder, turbocharged with direct injection) and this way the two systems result in temporary all-wheel drive.
“Home of British Motor Racing“
You can’t miss the message that Silverstone is the Home of British Motor Racing – the slogan welcomes you in huge letters at the main gate. The first circuit was built in 1948 in the grounds of a military airbase. Today’s track layout features a 5.891 km long and flat Grand Prix circuit with 18 bends. Many of their names are mentioned with great respect by drivers. For example the great combination of Maggots-Becketts-Chapel, which leads onto the Hangar straight, ending at the sharp right hander of Stowe corner. Silverstone is located in Northamptonshire, 130 kilometers Northwest of London.
Qualifying result, LMP1, 6 hrs of Silverstone:
1. Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima (A/F/J), Toyota TS040 Hybrid, 1:42,774 minutes
2. Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen (BRA/F/DK), Audi R18 e-tron quattro, + 0,005 s
3. Dumas/Jani/Lieb (F/CH/D), Porsche 919 Hybrid, + 0.313 s
4. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (CH/D/F), Audi R18 e-tron quattro, + 0.363 s
5. Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi (GB/F/CH), Toyota TS040 Hybrid, + 0.415 s
6. Bernhard/Webber/Hartley (D/AUS/NZ), Porsche 919 Hybrid, + 0.452 s
The Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC
Sports prototypes and GT vehicles contest the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC in four classes: LMP1 (eg. Porsche 919 Hybrid), LMP2, LMGTE-Pro (eg. 911 RSR) and LMGTE-Am (eg. 911 RSR and 911 GT3 RSR). They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.
Please note: Photo and video material from the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC is available for accredited journalists from the Porsche Press Database under the internet address https://presse.porsche.de. On this website you can also activate the Porsche Motorsport SMS Info Service to receive the latest news and information. The Twitter channel @PorscheRaces provides live updates with the latest information and photos from race tracks around the world. Journalists also have access to the 2014 digital Porsche Motorsport Media Guide on the internet address https://presse.porsche.de/motorsport.
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