Fast Porsche LMP1 trio in rainy Spa
The first appearance of the Porsche team with three Porsche 919 Hybrids went well but with limited driving in free practice because of a very wet race track in Spa-Francorchamps. The famous Belgian race track is the venue for the second of eight rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). In each of the two free practice sessions on Thursday a Porsche 919 Hybrid topped the time sheets.
While car numbers 17 and 18 are, as usual, in the hands of Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand), Mark Webber and Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany), Spa also saw the debut of the car number 19 crew. Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Formula One driver Nico Hülkenberg (Germany) shared driving duties with Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and were pleased with their first day. Due to the shortened sessions Mark Webber didn’t get in the car at all on Thursday.
In the first 90-minute session the Porsche 919 Hybrid no. 18 with Dumas/Jani/Lieb topped the time sheets with a lap time of 2:16.616 minutes. The sister car no. 17 (Bernhard/Hartley/Webber, 2:17.309 min) was third and the new crew of Bamber/Hülkenberg/Tandy in car no. 19 came fourth with a fastest lap of 2:18.157 minutes.
In the second wet session Bamber/Hülkenberg/Tandy set the fastest time (2:25.495 min), followed by Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (2:25.984 min) in P2 and Dumas/Jani/Lieb (2:26.721 min) in fourth.
Qualifying for the top category (LMP1) will take place on Friday from 18:35 to 19:00 hrs local time (CEST) with the six-hour race being started on Saturday at 14:30 hrs.