Promising start for the Porsche 919 Hybrid

A shock start for the Porsche Team saw the two 919 Hybrids came first and second in the first qualifying session for the Le Mans 24-Hours on Wednesday night.

Brendon Hartley achieved the fastest overall lap time of 3mins 23.157secs, which put the number 20 car on provisional pole position.

For the sister number 14 car Neel Jani secured second place with a time of 3mins 23.928secs. The qualifying session had originally been scheduled to last two hours, but was red flagged after 90 minutes because of an accident.

However, for Thursday’s qualifying sessions the Porsche Team intends to limit the number of laps undertaken in order to give the crew some rest on Friday before the start of the 24-Hours race.

The one hour practice session was technically trouble free for the Porsche Team. The trio in the number 20 car completed 35 laps with the fastest lap time being 3mins 26.602secs and came sixth.

The sister number 14 car covered 43 laps, the fastest being 3mins 27.374secs, which meant seventh on the time sheets.

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal LMP1, was able to look at a positive start for the team.

“The lap times in qualifying have been an improvement. We made changes to the car, which paid off. P1 and P2 are a nice glimpse and the result of a strong team effort. We have a good base line now for the two final qualifying sessions on Thursday.“

It was a sentiment shared by Romain Dumas, driver of the #14 919 Hybrid: “My team mates have shown that the car was a lot better in qualifying than it had been in free practice – quicker in all three sectors.“ 

Jani has taken the positives from the sessions, but also believes there is more to come from the 919 Hybrid.

“We have made good progress on the set-up since free practice, which you can see by the time sheets. I think we can go even faster.“