WEC 6 Hours of Fuji – Saturday Qualifying
Porsche 919 Hybrid on front row for the fourth time
Stuttgart. The two Porsche 919 Hybrids will start the six-hour race at Fuji, Japan from second and third on the grid. This means the Porsche Team has managed to get onto the front row for the fourth time in what is only its fifth race with the innovative and complex Le Mans Prototype. Round five of the FIA World Endurance Championship will get underway at 11am local time on Sunday.
As usual in the WEC, qualifying was split into classes. The LMP1 and LMP2 classes shared 25 minutes on track. Two drivers from each car had to do at least two timed laps each. The average from the four best lap times determine the grid positions. Neel Jani and Marc Lieb took over qualifying duties in car number 14, while Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber shared the number 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid for the session. In the end the average lap time of car number 20 (1:26.929 minutes) was only 0.043 seconds away from pole position. The average lap time of the third placed number 14 sister car was 1:27.306 minutes.
Earlier in the morning, free practice three had also been a smooth session for the Porsche Team seeing car number 20 coming second (1:27.300) and car number 14 finishing third (1:27.764), covering 26 and 31 laps respectively.
“Qualifying was a great recovery by the team since we struggled a bit with the car’s balance yesterday,” said Mark after the session. “We have managed to improve the car overnight and we were able to learn from the sister car as well. Our qualifying laps have been very good and pretty much the maximum we are able to achieve. Timo did a great job, so it all worked out really well for us. The Toyota is just a bit too strong for us, but this is fair enough as we are in our first year. Qualifying is only a small bit of endurance racing, but nevertheless we are very happy to be on the front row.”