WEC 24 Hours of Le Mans – First Qualifying
Successful first qualifying for the Porsche 919 Hybrid
It came as a surprise to the Porsche Team when the two innovative 919 Hybrids came first and second in the first qualifying session for the Le Mans 24-Hours on Wednesday night.
Brendon Hartley from New Zealand 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 (CH) 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.
There are two more qualifying sessions to come on Thursday – 7pm to 9pm and 10 pm until midnight. In Le Mans the fastest qualifying lap achieved with each car counts for the grid position, which is different to the normal WEC procedure. However, for Thursday’s qualifying sessions the Porsche Team intends to limit the number of laps. In order to give the crew some rest on Friday before the start of the 24-Hours race at 3pm on Saturday, the Porsche Team will prepare the cars on Thursday for the marathon, and so doesn’t want to put too many miles on the parts to be used in the race.
Earlier today, the four hour free practice session, held from 4pm until 8pm, 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. The free practice session was red flagged for 50 minutes due to a heavy accident involving Loic Duval. The Porsche Team wishes the Audi driver a speedy recovery.
“I didn’t catch the smoothest window for my run in qualifying,” Mark said after the session. “The yellow flags were not great for the rhythm. But we have made good progress with the car since free practice, and I feel more comfortable in it than I did at the pre-race test. I have just had my first experience of driving at night in Le Mans for 15 years and I’m looking forward to getting more of this.”
peter daleon June 12, 2014 Reply
Best wishes for you, team mates and the crew. Cant wait to get ther tomorrow and soak up the atmosphere. Porsche look good and will be a great test over the 24 hours. Peter (Croxley)
Phill harmonon June 12, 2014 Reply
Hi mark. Hope you and your team can finish and get a great result in France. Will be cheering on night and day in brisbane with plenty of our friends getting an educations on the Le Mans 24 hr race and what it brings in future technology. Good luck!
bruce johnstonon June 13, 2014 Reply
Hi Mark, is the race on free to air TV in Australia?
John Hallon June 13, 2014 Reply
Hi Mark, All the best mate, You are a great ambassador for Australia and NSW . Being a Goulburnite we were nearly neighbours. LOL. Good luck with the new page in your life. Go Cats……