The two Porsche 919 Hybrids of the Porsche LMP Team made a great start for the race weekend in Austin, Texas (USA) by setting the best times in free practice. The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) hosts the sixth of nine rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) on Saturday. The 5.513 kilometer long Formula One circuit is a challenging track. Additionally, the current ambient temperature of 34 degrees Celsius is expected to be the same for the six-hour race. Porsche hopes to make another step towards their aim of title defense.
Current world champion Neel Jani (CH), who shares a Porsche 919 Hybrid with André Lotterer (DE) and Nick Tandy (GB), set the best lap time of the day in 1:45.860 minutes at the beginning of the second session this afternoon. Earl Bamber (NZ) was second fastest in the sister car, doing a lap in 1:46.401 minutes. Bamber and his partners Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) are the current world championship leaders. In the first of the two 90-minute free practice sessions this morning, the two Porsches also topped the time sheets but in reverse order: Bamber (1:48.124 minutes) ahead of Tandy (1:48.269 minutes).
The 20-minute LMP qualifying session will be held on Friday from 15:35-15:55 hrs local time. The race will start on Saturday at noon.
Free practice 1 results:
|1st||#2 Porsche (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley)||1min 48.124secs||30 laps|
|2nd||#1 Porsche (Jani/Lotterer/Tandy)||+0.145secs||32 laps|
|3rd||#8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing||+0.460secs||34 laps|
|4th||#7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing||+1.190secs||38 laps|
|5th||#26 G-Drive (Rusinov/Thiriet/Lynn)||+7.275secs||37 laps|
|6th||#28 TDS Racing (Perrodo/Vaxiviere/Collard)||+7.584secs||39 laps|
Free practice 2 results: