At the first qualifying for the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC in Le Mans (France), the Porsche GT Team has left a strong impression. In the GTE-Pro class, all four Porsche 911 RSR claimed a spot in the top six. At the wheel of the ca. 510 hp 911, Nick Tandy achieved the second quickest lap time with 3:49.558 minutes in the two-hour qualifying session on the storied 13.626-kilometre racetrack. The British driver shares the No. 93 car with Patrick Pilet (France) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand).
“I was not able to tap the full potential on fresh tyres because I constantly encountered heavy traffic,” commented Tandy. “Still, our result looks very good. I hope the track offers a little more grip tomorrow; the lap times should then continue to drop.
“We learned a lot today. If we can now utilise those insights, we could make it to the very top.”
The sister car driven by Porsche works drivers Gianmaria Bruni (Italy), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) wrapped up the night session on fourth place. Sven Müller (Germany) and the Porsche Young Professionals Dennis Olsen (Norway) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) clocked the fifth quickest time in their No. 94 911 RSR. The fourth Porsche works vehicle with the starting number 92, which is shared by last year’s winners Kévin Estre (France), Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), ended the first major showdown at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on sixth.
In temperatures of around 13 degrees Celsius, the Porsche customer teams delivered impressive performances. The Italian Matteo Cairoli was the fastest in the GTE-Am class at the wheel of Dempsey Proton Racing’s No. 88 Porsche 911 RSR. Second place was occupied by the crew of the championship leader, Project 1. The No. 77 car fielded by Dempsey Proton Racing rounded off this outstanding achievement with third place.
Result Qualifying 1
1. Priaulx/Tincknell/Bomarito (GB/GB/USA), Ford GT, 3:49.530 minutes
2. Pilet/Bamber/Tandy (F/NZ/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.028 seconds
3. Martin/Lynn/Adam (B/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage AMR, + 0.507 seconds
4. Lietz/Bruni/Makowiecki (A/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.569 seconds
5. Müller/Jaminet/Olsen (D/F/N), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.748 seconds
6. Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor (DK/F/B), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.938 seconds
1. Hoshino/Roda/Cairoli (J/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:52.454 minutes
2. Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.296 seconds
3. Campbell/Ried/Andlauer (AUS/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.954 seconds
7. Prette/Prette/Abril (I/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.870 seconds
10. Wainwright/Barker/Preining (GB/GB/A), Porsche 911 RSR, + 2.579 seconds