The Porsche 919 Hybrid takes pole position in Shanghai
The reigning world champions, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber, took pole position for the eighth and penultimate round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Shanghai. The current championship leaders, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb, will start sixth on the grid for the six-hour race on Sunday. Today’s pole is the third one this season for the Porsche 919 Hybrid, the around 900 HP strong hybrid racing car also started from P1 in Spa and in Le Mans. Since its debut in 2014, the 919 now has 15 quickest times in qualifying to its tally, and eight of these were achieved by Bernhard/Hartley/Webber.
In the WEC the average of the two fastest laps of two drivers counts for the qualifying result. In China the qualifying drivers were Hartley/Webber (car number 1, position 1, 1:44.462 minutes) and Jani/Lieb (car number 2, position 6, 1:45.051 minutes). Extra excitement came into play when the lap times of both the drivers who were at the wheel first were deleted. For Brendon Hartley this was because of exceeding track limits in the last corner, for Marc Lieb the reason was slightly exceeding the allowed fuel consumption. Both drivers got another set of fresh tyres for their second attempt.
The six-hour race on the 5.451 kilometre long Chinese Formula One circuit starts on Sunday at 11:00 hrs (04:00 hrs in central Europe). In Shanghai early title decisions are possible. Continuing ‘friendly’ weather conditions promise tough and close racing until the very last minute.
The third free practice session in the morning went smoothly with Porsche’s two Le Mans prototypes coming third (car number 2, 1:44.913 minutes) and fifth (car number 1, 1:45.418 minutes).
“It was a really tight fight for pole position today and it is great we made it,” said Mark. “Brendon did a really good job and our average time in the end is very strong. It seems the Toyota had a little bit of traffic on the last lap, so perhaps we have been a bit fortunate. However, we took a point away from the competition and this helps the sister car in its fight for the drivers’ title.”
Petraon November 5, 2016 Reply
Hey Mark, that’s awesome on pole in Shanghai. Your old MW F1 fans will be excited and cheer you on like in the good old times. Those where not always exciting there for you! But for me Shanghai remains the best memories of MW & F1 ! All the best of luck for you and the team tomorrow ! Big hug from Germany
Petraon November 6, 2016 Reply
Marvelous team work Mark!! I’m super happy for you guys! CONGRATULATIONS FROM GERMANY !