While the sister #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid could take it’s trio of drivers to the drivers championship title, reigning FIA World Endurance Championship drivers champions Neel Jani, André Lotterer and Nick Tandy in the #1 car will be doing their best to move up the standings from fourth place this weekend in Shanghai, and in addition help Porsche secure the 2017 manufacturers title.
Jani is looking forward to the weekend ahead, but is aware that the close of a chapter is near, “With the penultimate race, the farewell of the 919 Hybrid comes closer and we still have to battle for both titles.” said the Swiss driver.
“In recent years, we have been good in Shanghai, capturing the manufacturers’ title there in 2015 as well as in 2016. Our new aero package should be well-suited. What I also recall as well is that the Shanghai circuit produces lots of marbles. If you leave the clean line for overtaking, it is easy to ruin your soft race tyres’ grip with pick-up on them.”
André Lotterer could treat this weekend as a home race as he says it will be an easy trip for him in terms of travelling, but it’s not one that he is particularly looking forward to. “To be honest, the circuit is not one of my favourites because the lay-out has a lot of radius’ that feel unnatural to me.” said the German.
“At the same time, because of this, it is very technical and challenging to drive. Car set-up and handling of tyre wear is not easy. We definitely don’t face an easy race and one which is obviously very important for us.”
British driver Nick Tandy has only been to Shanghai once, and that was in 2015, “It is a challenging and quite a fast track.” said Tandy. “It demands a lot out of the car. We will again take a high downforce configuration to the track.
“It is a high grip surface so it should be a great challenge in the 919. I particularly look forward to the first part of the lap with turns one and two. This section is like a very long deceleration zone and quite challenging. The fast middle sector is really fun.”
Porsche leads the manufacturers championship with 270 points ahead of Toyota on 211.5 points. To secure the manufacturers’ title, Porsche need to have no less than a 44 points advantage after six hours of racing.