Strong start to the season finale for the Porsche 919 Hybrids
Two 90-minute free practice sessions for set-up work were on the agenda ahead of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s finale in Bahrain. The Porsche Team with its two Porsche 919 Hybrid Le Mans prototypes enjoyed two smooth sessions on the 5.412 kilometre long Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. One was held in daylight with the other in the dark. While the temperatures were between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius, the wind from the desert kept blowing fine sand onto the Formula One track.
Drivers Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AUS) set the fastest lap in FP1 (1:42,800 minutes) and came third in FP2 (1:43.360 minutes). Their teammates Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) were fourth with the number 18 sister car in both sessions (1:43.454 min/1:43.529 min).
For Bernhard/Hartley/Webber there is nothing less than the drivers’ world championship title at stake. They are leading by 12 points ahead of the fastest Audi drivers (Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer). Porsche secured the manufacturers’ world championship title on 1st November at the penultimate round in Shanghai. The six-hour race in Bahrain starts on Saturday at 15:00 hrs local time with the sun setting at 16:45 hrs.
“It was a normal practice day,” said Mark. “We went through our programme, I also did a long run and the car is behaving okay. The track is pretty hard on tyres and we do still have some work to do.”