24 Hours of Le Mans

Porsche to lead field away after #2 grabs Pole

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The #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb will lead the field to the green flag after their Wednesday qualifying time was enough to enable them to take pole position for the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The #2 will start the race at the front, while the sister #1 car of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley will start alongside them in second.

Adverse weather in the subsequent qualifying sessions meant that Jani’s time of 3:19.733 was untouchable, meaning a second year in succession that the Swiss driver had topped qualifying for Le Mans, but this year he is hoping for some more luck when it comes to the race.

“Last year the pole lap was a real banger, this year it was different circumstances,” revealed Jani. “It was so difficult in traffic yesterday, but obviously I was the one who lost the least. It was all about working around people.

“I’ll be the start driver and I’m very much looking forward to it. Last year I started from pole as well, but then we were the unluckiest of the Porsches. The team did everything in every detail to prepare for 2016 and I hope for some more luck this year.“

Team-mate Dumas knows that qualifying bares little importance when it comes to the 24 Hour endurance race, but feels the car is good in all weather conditions after experiencing both dry and wet conditions in the lead up to the race.

“The target in Le Mans, obviously, is the race and not getting pole position,” insisted Dumas. “But, of course, it is always better to start in the front and it also gives us another point for the championship.

“We did some laps in the wet and our car is good in all conditions.“

Third driver Lieb believes the team are well prepared for the race after a lot of smooth on-track running, with all three drivers having helped improve the car and gather useful data.

“Even under these conditions practice and qualifying went very smoothly for us,” said Lieb. “We have managed to improve the car, learnt a lot for the race and put in good lap times for the grid position. In any regard, we fell well prepared.“

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