Stuttgart. The new Porsche 911 RSR heads into its race debut from the second grid row of the GTE-Pro class.
In qualifying for the six hour race on the tradition-steeped British race circuit, on which the World Endurance Championship (WEC) kicks off the new season on Sunday, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) posted the third quickest average time.
Sharing the number 91 cockpit for the race is their works driver colleague Timo Bernhard (Germany). The 470 hp 911 RSR is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car and is fielded by the Porsche AG Team Manthey squad.
From this season on, the qualifying in the WEC is conducted following a new format: For the first time, two drivers must qualify one car.
The grid positions for the race are determined by the average of the two fastest timed laps of each of these drivers.
“As far as the set-up is concerned we have found some potential because prior to this qualifying we had very little time in the dry,” said Joerg Bergmeister.
“So we had to take a bit of a risk and almost found the right point. I think we’ll get it under control in time for the race.” Patrick Pilet commented: “In a six hour race, the qualifying times are not everything. I’m looking forward to Sunday and can’t wait for the first race with the new 911 RSR.”
In the second Porsche 911 RSR with the starting number 92, the factory pilots Richard Lietz (Austria) and Romain Dumas (France) achieved the fourth quickest average time. For the race, the pair receives support from Marc Lieb (Germany).
“That was the first time that I drove the car on the dry track this weekend,” stated Richard Lietz. “We knew it would be difficult. But much more important than the result was that I got a good feel for dry conditions with new slicks. I was very happy with my laps.”
His teammate Romain Dumas said: “That was an interesting qualifying. We are going well with our new car, but we’re still certain to learn a great deal over the season.”
“The qualifying went quite well so far. We were lucky that it stayed dry,” said Porsche’s Head of Motorsport, Hartmut Kristen. “The whole team is now raring to tackle the first race with the 911 RSR.”
1. Turner/Mücke/Senna (GB/D/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:00.556 minutes
2. DallaLana/Macowiecki/Lamy (CAN/F/P), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.216 seconds
3. Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard (D/F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.742
4. Lieb/Lietz/Dumas (D/A/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.886
5. Bruni/Fisichella (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.946
6. Kobayashi/Vilander (J/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.237
1. Goethe/Hall/Campbell-Walter (D/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:01.158 minutes
2. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DEN/DEN/DEN), Aston Martin V., + 0.382 seconds
3. Gerber/Griffin/Cioci (ZAF/IRL/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.238
6. Narac/Bourret/Tandy (F/F/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.860
The World Endurance Championship
In the World Endurance Championship, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.
Communication Porsche AG
- Race debut of the new Porsche 911 RSR, World Endurance Championship, rd 1 in Silverstone, Great Britain (dedeporsche.com)
- New Porsche 911 RSR successfully concludes test drives – Season preparations on the finish straight (dedeporsche.com)
- Porsche 911 RSR – Consequent lightweight design for 50th anniversary (dedeporsche.com)