The two Porsche 919 Hybrids will start from the second row of the grid for the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The reigning world champions Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) claimed third on the grid for Sunday’s six-hour race at the Nürburgring (DE). Next to them on the grid will be the sister-car of the current championship leaders Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE). The race starts at 13:00 hrs local time.
In the WEC the average of the respective best laps of two drivers counts for the grid position. At the Nürburgring Bernhard/Webber (car number 1 / 1:39.861 minutes) and Jani/Lieb (car number 2 / 1:39.893 minutes) were the qualifying drivers. The 20-minute session was held in almost dry conditions.
In the morning, during the third free practice session, the track was wet in the beginning and then dried out. Mark Webber topped the time sheets with a lap of 1:41.002 minutes. The sister car came fifth with Marc Lieb putting in the fastest lap time of 1:42.239 minutes.
Quotes after qualifying:
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “We’ve got both cars on the second row now and will take it as a challenge to do everything to get on top at the end of the race. The title defence is our main goal and is the highest priority. Since the time differences between the LMP1 hybrid cars are so close, together with the spectators we can look forward to an exciting race that might be spiced up by unpredictable weather.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “Today the individual positions in qualifying very much depended on catching the perfect window or not. This goes for traffic as well as for the track conditions, which were first improving before it rained again at the end. Audi managed better timing than us today. Both our 919 Hybrids ran well technically and we believe we’re very well prepared for the race.”
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 1
Timo Bernhard (35, Germany): “On both of my laps I had traffic with LMP2 cars. Mark had a clear lap in the end, but then it started raining in the chicane. So we start from P3 tomorrow and will give our utmost for a good result.”
Brendon Hartley (26, New Zealand): “I only had a short run in free practice today. Timo and Mark were out on rain tyres, intermediates and slicks. In dry conditions we are fast, but on a wet track occasionally it looks less promising.”
Mark Webber (39, Australia): “P3 – we knew it would be close. I am happy with our car and we all performed well. Everyone tried to beat the rain. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to do that. In the end, everyone has a story where he could have gone better today. It was just tricky reading the timing of the showers.“
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 2
Romain Dumas (38, France): “After yesterday’s incident with the brake disc failure it was important for me to do some laps in the car again during the third free practice session. The mechanics had a lot of work and did a great job. The car felt good again.”
Neel Jani (32, Switzerland): “The track was drying quickly, but it wasn’t an easy qualifying because you really had to stick to the dry line with the slick tyres. Elsewhere there were pretty wet parts. It wasn’t ideal for us today, but it is such tight competition at the front that I’m sure we will have a very exciting race.”
Marc Lieb (36, Germany): “On my first lap I had some problems with the settings and no electrical boost. The next one began well, but then wasn’t hundred per cent either as I braked a little early before the chicane. Neel then got stuck in traffic. It wasn’t our best qualifying today.”