Porsche Team Manthey are satisfied with their progress after claiming an early third place on the LM GTE Pro grid for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The factory team for Porsche in GTE took third place in the first of three qualifying sessions with the #92 Porsche 911 RSR while the team car took fifth place in the evening running.
The session was disrupted regularly with accident and incident for many of the participants. Only fifty minutes of track action took place during the two hours allocated for qualifying.
Dempsey Racing Proton took the honor of best of the LM GTE Am customer Porsches with their new 991 spec 911 RSR when they also claimed third place heading into the final pre-race day of competitive action.
Hartmut Kristen, the head of Porsche Motorsport said, “The first qualifying session was very much influenced by interruptions and its termination twenty minutes before the scheduled end. Under these circumstances, I’m satisfied with the lap times. Tomorrow we have two more chances to improve our positions. With this in mind, we will not neglect our preparations for the race.”
“It was really good to go out and drive at night again,” added Marco Holzer from the #92 machine. “Fred put in a great performance and planted the car on third. It’s important to set a good time in the first qualifying because you never know what tomorrow brings. Our priority though is to keep working on the car’s race setup.”
Frédéric Makowiecki who shares the car with Holzer said “Driving on this track at night is never easy. In some spots you really have to take particular care. I think we have a good car. Our main objective today was to find a good setup for the race. Perhaps we can improve on our time tomorrow.”
“That qualifying was very eventful with a lot of interruptions,” explained Patrick Long for the #77 Dempsey Racing Proton machine. “For us the main priority was that all drivers completed their mandatory five laps in the dark. Because of the interruptions, Patrick Dempsey didn’t manage that. But he won’t mind at all jumping back into the cockpit tomorrow night. We trialled a new tyre compound and we’re actually quite happy with how it went today.”
After the first qualifying session the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari 458 Italia holds provisional pole with the #61 AF Corse machine in second for the LM GTE Am class. AF Corse hold pole in LM GTE Pro with Aston Martin Racing in second.
The Porsche LMP1-H effort locked out the front row of the grid with their provisional starting position. The #20 and #14 currently head the Toyota TS040 Hybrids and Audi R18 e-tron Quattros.