Good start to the season for the Porsche 919 Hybrid
The FIA World Endurance Championship has kicked off the 2016 season with the official Prologue. The two-day test at the 5.791 kilometre long Circuit Paul Ricard in Southern France was the first meeting of a major part of the WEC grid. For the title defender, the 2016 Porsche 919 Hybrid, which was unveiled just before the Prologue, it was the first appearance in the surroundings of the World Championship as well. The Porsche Team had two cars on site. On Friday car number 2 with drivers Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb was on duty. On Saturday the reigning World Champions, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber, took over with their number one car.
During the two days, the since 2015 significantly-revised prototypes of the Porsche Team covered a total mileage of 2,197 kilometres. At the end of each session, it was a Porsche 919 Hybrid leading the time sheets. The overall fastest lap of the Prologue was achieved by Brendon Hartley in 1:37.44 minutes on Saturday.
“It basically was trouble free running for both our new cars”, said Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1, “and we have received positive feedback from our drivers. Therefore we are confident for the opening round at Silverstone on April 17. Only there it will be possible to judge properly on the overall competition and we are expecting this with huge excitement. The Prologue is like a first scan of the grid and it is a great event arranged by the WEC, very useful for the teams, for media and enjoyable for spectators who had free access to the track and paddock today.”
Team Principal Andreas Seidl specified: “After we have been here last week with our test car, we now ran in our first two new chassis of the 2016 generation. Running two cars again was a good dress rehearsal for the team before the first race. There are also some changes to pit stop procedures from the regulations, which we have to practise. The drivers did a lot of testing during recent weeks but at the Prologue they were facing traffic on track for the first time since the finale in Bahrain. By the end of the Prologue we have achieved the targets we had set ourselves in terms of season preparation. Team and technology are ready for Silverstone.”
“Overall it is a positive test for us,” said Mark. “We got a lot of laps in. We don’t know much about the opposition but we prepared as best as we can for Silverstone. Before coming here, we hadn’t done much high-downforce work so this was good. The now mandatory bigger headrest to me is not an issue for the driver change.”
Max Boveyon March 28, 2016 Reply
Great to here all the boxes were ticked in the first practice session for the year and are hoping it will be another great year for Mark and the team. Just hoping we get some coverage in Australia.