Both Porsche 919 Hybrids on front row again
Round seven of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will also see two Porsche 919 Hybrids start from front row of the grid. On the Shanghai International Circuit car number 17 of Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) took pole position for the fourth time this season. The sister car number 18 of Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) qualified second for Sunday’s six-hour race in China.
In the WEC the average of the best laps of two drivers counts for the grid position. In Shanghai Hartley/Webber and Dumas/Lieb were the qualifying drivers. In bright sunshine Brendon managed to set a new record for prototypes on the 5.451 kilometre long Grand Prix circuit by lapping in 1:42.621 minutes. The average lap time for the number 17 car was 1:42.719 minutes, their number 18 team mates’ average lap time was 1:43.488 minutes.
In the morning, during the third free practice session, Brendon had done an impressive lap already. A time of 1:42.799 minutes had put the number 17 car on top of the time sheets. Dumas/Jani/Lieb came second and, for precautionary reasons, had their combustion engine changed for qualifying.
Round seven of eight will start on Sunday at 11:00 hrs local time (04:00 hrs CET). The TV channel Eurosport will broadcast the entire race and the podium ceremony live. Live feed, timing and more is available at the FIA WEC App. Live features such as on-board cameras, timing and GPS tracking are also available in the Porsche Motorsport App (free of charge).
Thanks to an advantage of a now 54 point margin ahead of Audi in the constructors’ standings, mathematically Porsche could secure an early title win on Sunday in China. It would be the first Constructors’ World Championship title since 1986 for Porsche and the 13th in the brand’s endurance racing history.
“It is great for Porsche and our team to have both cars on the front row again. Brendon and I had a great time in qualifying,” said Mark. “It was a good battle between us and in the end it was safe with a very strong average of our two timed laps. However, qualifying is a bit of show business in endurance racing; the main race is tomorrow and there is some wet weather around.”