WEC 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas – Friday Qualifying
Porsche 919 Hybrid in front row
Stuttgart. The two Porsche Team 919 Hybrid cars will start from second and third on the grid for tomorrow’s six-hour race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas (USA). Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Romain Dumas (France) shared driving duties in the number 14 car, and with an average of their four fastest laps – the two fastest laps of each of them count – a lap time of 1:50.283 minutes resulted in second. Team-mates Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia) qualified third with car number 20. Their average lap time was 1:50.302 minutes. It was a dry and positive session for the Porsche Team ahead of the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The six-hour race will get underway on Saturday at 5pm, more than half the distance will be completed in the dark. One lap at COTA is 5.513 kilometres. According to the regulations, the Porsche 919 Hybrid can use a maximum of 3.76 MJ recuperated energy and max 2.8 litres of fuel per lap at this track. In normal race mode (without a safety car) the car needs to be refuelled every 31 laps. However, the weather forecast predicts a hot day with ambient temperatures well over 30 degrees and thunderstorms for Saturday’s race, which might spoil the strategies, but result in extra excitement.
The third free practice session in the morning had also taken place in dry conditions. The crew of car number 14 came fourth (1:50.976 min, 29 laps), while car number 20 was sixth on the time sheets (1:51.828 minutes, 27 laps).
After qualifying Mark said: “It was a good team effort to put the cars second and third on the grid. Due to changing weather conditions, it was a compromised weekend in terms of set-up for everyone. In qualifying the conditions were extremely favourable for us, as it was a little cooler, and we made the most of it. However, I regard qualifying as only 0.5 per cent of the job, the main task is the six-hour race tomorrow.”