Stuttgart. The two Porsche 911 RSR campaigned by the Porsche Manthey squad tackle Saturday’s six-hour race on the demanding Spa-Francorchamps circuit from the second grid row. In the gripping qualifying for round two of the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC), commonly regarded as the dress rehearsal for the Le Mans 24 Hours on 14/15 June, Porsche works drivers Marco Holzer (Germany) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) posted the third quickest time in the GTE-Pro class under changeable weather conditions in the Ardennes. A fortnight ago, these two won the season-opener in Silverstone. Their factory pilot colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) set the fourth fastest time in the sister 911 RSR.
The WEC calls for real teamwork in both the qualifying and the race. Two drivers must qualify one car for the race. The grid positions are determined by the average of the two fastest timed qualifying laps of each of these drivers.
Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “When you consider that we have to compete with 25 kilograms more than at Silverstone and in difficult weather conditions I think we’ve done very well today. Our drivers made no mistakes, the team worked well together. I’m completely satisfied.“
Patrick Pilet (#91): “That was really hard. I think our timing wasn’t really ideal this time. Perhaps towards the end we should have tried to go out on slicks, which might have worked better. The circuit slowly dried up, but I couldn’t really make the most out of it because my wet tyres were getting too hot. Still, I’m feeling confident for the race.”
Joerg Bergmeister (#91): “During practice I only turned three laps in the wet. These were of course not the best conditions for qualifying on a predominantly damp track. Nevertheless, it went quite well, our car was well balanced. The track continued to dry up which caused a slight oversteer towards the end. Still, it was enough to set a decent time.”
Marco Holzer (#92): “The conditions were difficult. The light was fading so it became hard to see where water was lying on the track. We opted for a rain set-up after practice, but during my stint the circuit was virtually dry in the end. I’m pleased that Fred was able to make up one position.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#92): “A difficult qualifying. We tried everything to get a good starting position but we didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. We were fast this morning in the wet and again on the almost dry track. This shows that we have a great car for all conditions.”
1. Bruni/Vilander (I/SF), Ferrari 458 Italia, 2:31.514 minutes
2. Turner/Mücke/Senna (GB/D/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.167 seconds
3. Holzer/Makowiecki (D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.243
4. Bergmeister/Pilet (D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.479
5. MacDowall/O’Young/Rees (GB/HK/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.732
6. Rigon/Calado (I/GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.234
1. Perez Companc/Cioci/Venturi (ARG/I/I), Ferrari F 458 Italia, 2:33.962 minutes
2. Collard/Perrodo/Vaxivière (FRA/FRA/FRA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.019 secs.
3. Wyatt/Rugolo/Bertolini (AUS/I/I), Ferrari F 458 Italia, + 0.077
4. Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi (D/A/UAE), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.866
5. Potolicchio/Roda/Ruberti (YV/I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.386
6. Mann/Giammaria/Case (USA/I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 1.679
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.
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