Porsche fights for the lead in Le Mans

M16_2528In the early morning hours the number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) is fighting for the lead in Le Mans with the number 6 Toyota. An exciting virtual duel has developed as the two cars have different refuelling intervals. The number 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid rejoined the race at 01:56 hours with Brendon Hartley at the wheel after a two-and-a-half hour long repair. The water pump change and the repair to the subsequent damage had thrown the car back to 53rd, and down 39 laps. At 05:00 hrs in the morning the car was back in 46th.

How the race has gone so far:
Dumas had been at the wheel of the number 2 car since 00:13 hrs. Driving in second position, he refuelled after 156 laps at 01:00 hrs during a safety car period and got new Michelin tyres as well, because anyway he had to wait for the pit lane exit to open. The time he lost while waiting dropped him back to third. But he immediately improved to second again, as the track went green at 01:25 hrs. His next stop for fuel was after 171 laps at 02:06 hrs. The next time he picked up fuel was after 184 laps at 02:53 hrs, before he finished his quadruple stint after 197 laps at 03:38 hrs and handed the car over to Lieb. The German refuelled after 210 laps for the first time and had an unscheduled pit stop for tyres after 215 laps, due to a puncture.

The number 1 Porsche that is a long way behind refuelled after 143 and 156 laps. With 169 laps completed, Hartley handed the car over to Mark Webber at 04:13 hrs.

Brendon Hartley (26, New Zealand):
(4 races: overall second 2015)
“It is disappointing that we lost so much time, but the team is working incredibly hard to rescue what can be rescued. Now it’s about bringing it home and getting some points for the championship. We were unlucky at the beginning with two full course yellows. But we were definitely in the fight for the top. The issue that we had was one we never had before. We were pretty confident coming into this race after the endurance tests we had. Motorsport can be cruel sometimes. It will take some days to get over it, but now we just keep pushing.”

Romain Dumas (38, France):
(15 races: overall victory 2010, 3rd place overall 2007, 5th place overall 2015, class victory GTE 2013)
“I had a quadruple stint, which was a bit boring at times because of a long safety car period. Just before the safety car came out we had to pit because we had no more fuel and then the pit exit was closed, which cost us about one third of a lap. It is a shame for the team we had the issue with the other car, but our car is very nice to drive and we keep trying to do our best. It is still a long way to go.”

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