Porsche takes second place and leads both World Championship standings

on May 7, 2016 Uncategorized with 0 comments
Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

The second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship was a tough test for the Porsche Team. Despite a problem with the hybrid system, the trio of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb finished second with their Porsche 919 Hybrid in Spa-Francorchamps and extended their lead in the drivers’ championship. After two punctures, the sister car of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber spent more than one-and-a-half hours of the six-hour race in the garage for repairs. In the end it came 5th in the LMP1 category for hybrid cars. In the manufacturer standings Porsche leads now with 54 points ahead of Toyota (45) and Audi (41).

The fastest lap of the race, achieved by Brendon Hartley (1:58.431 minutes), gives an idea of what would have been possible for the Porsche 919 in Spa. Following the season’s opening race at Silverstone this is the second fastest race lap for Porsche’s Le Mans prototype in 2016. Track temperatures of up to 50 degrees celsius gave much warmer conditions than expected for the race in the Ardennes mountains.

“The guys did a great job in getting the car back on track,” said Mark. “Again we learnt a lot, but it was a tough day for our car crew. For the team it’s great what car number 2 has achieved despite their problems.”

How the race went for car number 1:
Start driver Brendon Hartley builds up a solid lead until his first pit stop after 23 laps. Timo Bernhard takes over with fresh tyres and continues in second position. The number 5 Toyota takes the lead after refraining from a driver and tyre change. Bernhard is faster, a breath-taking battle develops between him and Sébastien Buemi. Bernhard overtakes in La Source, Buemi strikes back in Eau Rouge. Entering lap 37 Bernhard reports a puncture, having seven kilometres to drive before reaching the pits. While bringing the car home, the tyre falls apart and damages the body work. In the pits the front nose is changed, Mark Webber takes over. On lap 45 the front left tyre is damaged again – a result of the first puncture. After a longer stop for repairs Brendon Hartley rejoins the race. When the race is 56 laps old, the number 1 car is four laps down in 14th position when the next pit stop is due. The front gearbox was damaged due to very different wheel speeds of the two front wheels when bringing the car home with the damaged tyres. At 16:38 hrs local time the repair begins. At 18:17 hrs the 919 with Webber at the wheel leaves the pits again, having a 51 laps deficit to the leaders. He does a 24-lap stint before he hands over to Bernhard. The gap to the leaders is now 49 laps. After 137 laps into the race, Hartley jumps in for the final stint, using a safety car period. He brings the car home in 26th place overall and seventh in the LMP1 class.

Race result 6 Hours of Spa:
1.         Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (BR/FR/GB), Audi R18, 160 laps
2.         Dumas/Jani/Lieb (FR/CH/DE), Porsche 919 Hybrid, – 2 laps
3.         Imperatori/Kraihamer/Tuscher (CH/AT/CH), Rebellion R-One AER, – 4 laps
4.         Heidfeld/Piquet jr./Prost (DE/BR/FR), Rebellion R-One AER, – 5 laps
5.         Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (CH/DE/FR), Audi R18, – 5 laps
6.         Rossiter/Trummer/Webb (GB/CH/GB), CLM P1/01 AER, – 9 laps
26.      Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (DE/NZ/AU), Porsche 919 Hybrid, – 48 laps

Drivers’ World Championship standings after two out of nine rounds:
1.         Dumas/Jani/Lieb (FR/CH/DE), Porsche, 43 points
2.         Imperatori/Kraihamer/Tuscher (CH/AT/CH), Rebellion, 30 points
3.         Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (BR/FR/GB), Audi, 25 points
4.         Heidfeld/Piquet jr./Prost (DE/BR/FR), Rebellion, 24 points
5.         Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin (GB/JP/FR), Toyota, 18 points
6.         Cumming/Dalziel/Derani (CD/GB/BR), Extreme Speed Motorsport, 12 points
14.      Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (DE/NZ/AU), 1.5 points

Manufacturers’ World Championship standings LMP1:
1.         Porsche, 54
2.         Toyota, 45
3.         Audi, 41

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