The two Porsche 919 Hybrids will start third and fourth on the grid in the 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. With a lap time of 3:17.259 minutes, Neel Jani claimed the third fastest lap overall. Timo Bernhard qualified the Porsche LMP sister car to start fourth on the grid with a lap of 3:18.067 minutes on the 13.629-kilometre long Circuit des 24 Heures. Both Porsche drivers achieved their respective best lap times in the second qualifying session.
Jani shares the car number 1 Porsche Le Mans prototype with André Lotterer and Nick Tandy. Bernhard’s team-mates in the car number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid are the two New Zealanders Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley. Having a tally of 18 overall Le Mans wins, Porsche is the record holder and after the most recent victories in 2015 and 2016, is in the role of title defender.
“Congratulations to Toyota and Kamui Kobayashi. We knew he would be fast but his lap was really sensational”, Vice President LMP1 Fritz Enzinger said after the qualifying.
“On our side, we missed out on a front row position on the grid by a tenth of a second. Besides that, our qualifying was okay. We’re looking good over long runs and are optimistic for the race. Our target remains a third Le Mans win in a row. Thanks a lot again to the entire team for the effort so far. There is an extreme and thrilling task waiting ahead for us.”
The two Porsche 919 Hybrids will start third and fourth on the grid in the 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race
Team Principal Andreas Seidl added:
“We had another very productive day. We could optimise the cars’ set-up at various track temperatures and gained important knowledge concerning tyre choice and tyre wear for the race. Halfway through the final qualifying session, the engine temperature on the number 2 car rose. As a precaution, we stopped the car finishing the session early. Tomorrow we will dismantle the cars again, carefully inspect them, reassemble them with the final race components and try to go to sleep early. After the last two days here, we feel ready for another big Le Mans race with very strong competition.”