Porsche over Toyota in Friday practice

Andre Lotterer
Andre Lotterer

Porsche topped the times in the opening free practice session for this weekend's Mexico City round of the World Endurance Championship.

Andre Lotterer set a 1m27.026s to improve on team-mate Neel Jani's 1m27.652s in the closing minutes of a session that began on a wet circuit.

After heavy rain over the recent days, the first practice session on the famous Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was held on a wet and then drying track early Friday evening. The 919 with car number 1 in the hands of world champion Neel Jani (CH), André Lotterer (DE) and Nick Tandy (GB) topped the time sheets with Lotterer’s best lap of 1:27.026 minutes. Earl Bamber (NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) followed with a lap in 1:27.675 minutes with the sister car.

The second and third free practice sessions as well as qualifying – 18:20 until 18:40 hrs local time – will be held on Saturday. The six-hour race will start on Sunday at noon. The weather forecast is highly unpredictable.

In 2017, the Porsche LMP Team achieved a third consecutive Le Mans overall victory, won the six-hour race at the Nurburgring and now aims to also win the manufacturers’ and drivers’ world championships for the third time in a row.

The Porsche LMP Team after the first practice

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “It was a good start for us. Despite having only 90 minutes of practice today, we got a lot of work done. The conditions allowed for driving all tire specifications from rain tires to intermediates to slicks. This can help a lot as it might rain in the race as well. We had all drivers on duty today and experienced no problems. Of course, the altitude of 2,250 meters above sea level is an extra challenge for the cooling of the power train and brakes, but this is the same for everybody."

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid car number 1:

#1 Porsche
#1 Porsche

Neel Jani (33, Switzerland): “I was able to drive a few laps at the end of the session, the 919 Hybrid really doesn’t feel bad. The track was almost dry. Today we got a taste of every condition here from wet to dry and were able to get to know the car which was pretty good. Now we have to improve the car, but the base is already very good. I don’t have problems with the high altitude."

André Lotterer (35, Germany): “It was a good session. Nick did the beginning on rain tires, then we changed early to intermediates and I took over. Soon we were changing to slicks as it was clear the track was drying. The grip level on the dry line was quite good."

Nick Tandy (32, Great Britain): “I was the first one in the car when the track was really wet. It was very challenging and we were experimenting with the tires. For a long time I was quicker on the rain tires then on inters on the drying track. The changing track conditions are the hardest thing to judge. The car felt very good in the wet."

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid car number 2
Earl Bamber (27, New Zealand): “The track is very nice, it is my first experience here. It was good to get a few dry laps here in the end. The guys have definitely brought us a good race car here. The pace looks fine already, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow."

Timo Bernhard (36, Germany): “The track conditions were not easy. But the car felt good and it was very enjoyable to experience the different situations. Brendon was driving in the rain, I had the interim stint and Earl had a dry track. This means a lot of information for us."

Brendon Hartley (27, New Zealand): “I started the session on wet tires and the car felt pretty good and comfortable straight out of the box. We went very early to intermediate tires to try and figure out what the crossovers are for the race. It was a good session with a lot of lessons learnt already."

Results

POS CLASS DRIVER TEAM CAR BEHIND
1 LMP1 N.Jani, A.Lotterer, N.Tandy Porsche LMP Team Porsche 1m27.026s
2 LMP1 T.Bernhard, E.Bamber, B.Hartley Porsche LMP Team Porsche 0.649s
3 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1.003s
4 LMP1 S.Buemi, A.Davidson, K.Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 2.105s
5 LMP2 N.Lapierre, G.Menezes, A.Negrao Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine/Gibson 7.530s
6 LMP2 M.Beche, D.H.Hansson, N.Piquet Jr. Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 7.906s
7 LMP2 J.Canal, N.Prost, B.Senna Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 8.187s
8 LMP2 R.Rusinov, P.Thiriet, A.Lynn G-Drive Racing ORECA/Gibson 8.480s
9 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, S.Trummer, V.Petrov CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA/Gibson 8.661s
10 LMP2 M.Rao, B.Hanley, J-E.Vergne CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA/Gibson 8.748s
11 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, O.Jarvis, T.Laurent Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 9.145s
12 LMP2 F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, E.Collard TDS Racing ORECA/Gibson 9.165s
13 LMP2 D.Cheng, A.Brundle, T.Gommendy Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 9.406s
14 GTE Pro J.Calado, A.P.Guidi AF Corse Ferrari 14.075s
15 GTE Pro R.Lietz, F.Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 14.151s
16 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 14.271s
17 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 14.296s
18 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre Porsche GT Team Porsche 14.387s
19 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 14.690s
20 GTE Pro A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 14.917s
21 GTE Pro D.Turner, J.Adam, D.Serra Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 14.985s
22 GTE Am C.Ried, M.Cairoli, M.Dienst Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 15.443s
23 GTE Am M.Wainwright, B.Barker, N.Foster Gulf Racing Porsche 15.550s
24 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 15.897s
25 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, M.Molina Spirit of Race Ferrari 16.101s
26 GTE Am Mok W.S., K.Sawa, M.Griffin Clearwater Racing Ferrari 16.327s

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