The Porsche 919 Hybrid is back on track for the first race after the Le Mans 24 Hours in mid June. The Porsche Team enjoyed a smooth first day of practice before its home race at the Nürburgring. The circuit in the Eifel mountains is the venue for the fourth of eight rounds for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), in which Porsche, the winner at Le Mans, currently leads the manufacturers’ standings. With around 80 per cent new bodywork for higher downforce, the class one Le Mans prototype (LMP1) looks significantly different compared to its low downforce aero spec for the endless straights at Le Mans.
The first of two 90-minute practice sessions on Friday took place in changing weather conditions, while the 5.137 km long track was dry for the second session. With a lap time of 1:37.921 minutes the Porsche 919 Hybrid of Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AUS) was second in the second free practice, which was the faster of the two sessions. The sister car, shared by Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE), came third with a lap of 1:37.932 minutes. Today’s overall fastest Audi was only six hundredths of a second away, which is promising for an exciting race.
“After I had only done a few laps in FP1 at the end of the session,” commented Hartley. “I did a complete stint in FP2 to check the tyre life and it seems positive. Actually everything looks like a promising start to the weekend.”
LMP1 qualifying will be held on Saturday from 14:30 to 14:50 hrs (CEST) with the race starting on Sunday at 13:00 hrs (CEST).