At Sunday’s six-hour race in Fuji/Japan, the best Porsche 911 RSR starts from the second row of the grid. In qualifying for round six of the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC, the Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) planted their #91 Porsche 911 RSR on the fourth grid spot in the GTE-Pro class. Their factory pilot colleagues Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria), who won last year’s race at the foot of Mount Fuji, posted the fifth quickest time in the second 911 RSR (#92) fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey.
New this season, two drivers must qualify one car. The grid positions for the race are determined by the average of the two fastest timed qualifying laps of each of these drivers.
Marco Ujhasi, Product Manager 911 RSR: “Third would have been possible. Positions one and two, however, belonged very clearly to Aston Martin.”
Patrick Pilet (#91): “It was a relatively easy job for me with fresh tyres. Joerg had a tougher time after me. Even if our set-up was not quite perfect, it was the best of the weekend. Had I not overtaken an opponent during my fastest lap, I could surely have been one or two tenths quicker. The car’s balance is improving, but we still have to work on consistency over the race distance.”
Joerg Bergmeister (#91): “On fresh slicks our car is running well this weekend, but it gets difficult after the first couple of laps. But that’s probably irrelevant for the race, because according to the weather forecast it is supposed rain tomorrow. And our 911 RSR is fantastic in the rain.”
Richard Lietz (#92): “I’m feeling very confident for the race. Of course we would have liked to qualify one place up the grid, but we have six hours tomorrow to do our best. And with a little luck we should be manage it.”
Marc Lieb (#92): “Our lap times were comparatively consistent today, and this makes me confident for the race, especially since rain is forecast. This totally reshuffles the deck.”
1. Turner/Mücke/Makowiecki (GB/D/F), Aston Martin Vantage, 1:39.114 minutes
2. Stanaway/Lamy (NZ/P), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.477 seconds
3. Bruni/Fisichella (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.579
4. Bergmeister/Pilet (D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.622
5. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 0.664
1. Nygaard/Poulsen/Senna (DK/DK/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 1:40.649 minutes
2. Bornhauser/Canal/Rees (F/F/BRA), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.165 seconds
3. Hall/Campbell-Walter/Adam (GB/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.175
4. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 0.662
5. Potolicchio/Aguas/Rigon (I/P/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.720
8. Narac/Vernay/Palttala (F/F/SF), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.034
Eurosport International broadcasts the race live on Sunday from 08.30 to 10.00 hours CEST and also televises 30 minutes of highlights on 22 October at 22.30 hrs. The race can be watched 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.