Porsche sweeps front row in Fuji

Porsche will start 1-2 in Mt. Fuji
Porsche will start 1-2 in Mt. Fuji

Through the sixth round of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship no car other than a Porsche 919 Hybrid made it onto the front row of the grid. On the Fuji Speedway in the Japanese Alps Timo Bernhard (DE)/Brendon Hartley (NZ)/Mark Webber (AU) will start from pole position. The sister car of Romain Dumas (FR)/Neel Jani (CH)/Marc Lieb (DE) qualified second for Sunday's six-hour race.

Each trio now has three pole positions to its tally in 2015. In the WEC the average of the best laps of two drivers counts for the grid position. In Fuji Bernhard/Webber (1:22.763 minutes) and Dumas/Lieb (1:23.071 min) were the qualifying drivers.

With this race on the challenging 4.549 km long circuit at the foot of Mount Fuji the championship enters its critical phase and Porsche is fighting for both titles. In the manufacturers' standings Porsche leads with 220 points, followed by Audi (186) and Toyota (101). In the drivers' championship an Audi trio is leading. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (103 points) are ten points behind and Dumas/Jani/Lieb are in third place (77.5 points). Further excitement is in the air with a change of weather conditions being the forecast for race day.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Quotes after qualifying:
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: "The sixth pole position in the sixth race, plus having P2 for the sixth time as well – you cannot ask for more in qualifying. Tomorrow we want to get both crews onto the podium. It is our target to extend the lead in the manufacturers' championship and improve the situation in the drivers' standings. For the race some unpredictable factors will come into play. First, because of the weather, and second, because Audi has become stronger. Excitement is guaranteed."

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "It is great we have managed to continue our string of successes in qualifying, especially because Audi was very fast here, which we had expected after they had been good in the practice sessions. We have continuously improved our cars and all our drivers again showed excellent performances. For tomorrow we expect very close racing. It is going to be a real challenge for us – not only because of the competition, but also due to the weather. For the first part of the race at least rain is predicted."

Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director: "As expected, Audi came closer. One of the reasons is that aerodynamic downforce counts less on this particular circuit, which means that tire management plays a bigger role."

Pole winning car gets service in the pits
Pole winning car gets service in the pits

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 17
Timo Bernhard (34, Germany): "We are very happy with our pole position. Mark did a super lap and mine was also good. I lost a little bit of time in sector one. It wasn't much, but the competition is very close here. The sister car, as well as the Audi, was very strong."

Mark Webber (39, Australian): "P1 and P2 is another great team result. Normally qualifying has been a very strong point for us, but today we had a lot of pressure from the number 7 Audi. It was a big effort from us today. Timo did a very good lap and it was great to see Marc getting the sister car on the front row in the very last minute."

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 18
Romain Dumas (37, France): "P2 was the maximum we could achieve today. My lap was good, so I cannot complain. Perhaps I lost a little bit when braking into turn one, as the brakes were colder than expected."

Marc Lieb (35, Germany): "We wanted to save tires for the race, that's why I took the used ones from Romain first. But the competition was too strong. In the end I had only one lap left with a new set of tires and that had to be perfect. I managed to improve, but had a lot of traffic, otherwise I could have gone faster."

Results

Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Behind
1 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 1m22.763s 0.000s
2 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 1m23.071s 0.308s
3 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m23.082s 0.319s
4 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m23.245s 0.482s
5 LMP1 A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota 1m25.072s 2.309s
6 LMP1 A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, M.Conway Toyota Racing Toyota 1m25.327s 2.564s
7 LMP1 A.Imperatori, D.Kraihamer, D.Abt Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 1m28.492s 5.729s
8 LMP1 N.Prost, M.Beche Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 1m28.641s 5.878s
9 LMP1 S.Trummer, P.Kaffer Team ByKolles CLM/AER 1m30.740s 7.977s
10 LMP2 R.Rusinov, J.Canal, S.Bird G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 1m31.529s 8.766s
11 LMP2 G.Yacaman, L.Derani, R.Gonzalez G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 1m31.750s 8.987s
12 LMP2 P.Ragues, O.Webb, C.Cumming Team SARD Morand Morgan/SARD 1m32.163s 9.400s
13 LMP2 M.Howson, R.Bradley, N.Tandy KCMG ORECA/Nissan 1m32.275s 9.512s
14 LMP2 N.Panciatici, P-L.Chatin, V.Capillaire Signatech Alpine Alpine/Nissan 1m32.483s 9.720s
15 LMP2 S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, D.Hansson Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 1m32.558s 9.795s
16 LMP2 N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane Strakka Racing Gibson/Nissan 1m33.490s 10.727s
17 LMP2 E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, J.Fogarty Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 1m34.892s 12.129s
18 GTE Pro D.Rigon, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 1m38.295s 15.532s
19 GTE Pro G.Bruni, T.Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 1m38.403s 15.640s
20 GTE Pro A.MacDowall, F.Rees, S.Mucke Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m38.540s 15.777s
21 GTE Pro R.Lietz, M.Christensen Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 1m38.751s 15.988s
22 GTE Pro P.Pilet, F.Makowiecki Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 1m38.864s 16.101s
23 GTE Pro D.Turner, J.Adam Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m38.979s 16.216s
24 GTE Pro C.Nygaard, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m39.028s 16.265s
25 GTE Am G.Roda, P.Ruberti, N.Sylvest Larbre Competition Chevrolet 1m39.901s 17.138s
26 GTE Am V.Shaitar, A.Bertolini, A.Basov SMP Racing Ferrari 1m40.128s 17.365s
27 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m40.442s 17.679s
28 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 1m40.516s 17.753s
29 GTE Am P.Dempsey, P.Long, M.Seefried Dempsey Racing – Proton Porsche 1m41.055s 18.292s
30 GTE Am F.Castellacci, L.Griffin, S.Hall Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m41.181s 18.418s
31 GTE Am C.Ried, K.Al Qubaisi, E.Bamber Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 1m48.415s 25.652s

Leave a Reply