A two-day test at the Nürburgring was a taster of the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) to be held on August 30. The Porsche Team was running a Porsche 919 Hybrid on Monday and Tuesday, sharing the 5.137 kilometre circuit with an impressive field of 19 other WEC cars. It was the prototype’s first time on track since its glorious overall win at the 24 hours of Le Mans on June 14. The works drivers at the wheel of the test car were Timo Bernhard (Germany)/Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) on Monday and Romain Dumas (France)/Marc Lieb (Germany) on Tuesday. Together the four drivers covered 1,275 kilometres.
After three out of eight World Championship rounds, Porsche is leading the manufacturers’ championship with 140 points ahead of Audi (124) and Toyota (71).
The team is based in Meuspath just a stone’s throw from the Nürburgring. With the Porsche works drivers Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Richard Lietz (Austria), the outfit made the most of the opportunity on Monday and Tuesday to setup the Porsche 911 RSR for their home race. The German team tested the cars with the starting numbers 91 and 92 that are campaigned in the GTE-Pro class of the WEC.
For the 911 RSR, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car and characterised by lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics, the testing began on Monday in typical Eifel weather conditions with rain and sunshine. Although Tuesday stayed overcast, the challenging Grand Prix circuit remained dry. The team was able to complete its comprehensive testing as scheduled.
Also taking part in the Nürburgring tests were the Porsche customer squads Dempsey Proton Racing with drivers Patrick Dempsey (USA) and Marco Seefried (Austria) as well as Abu Dhabi Proton Racing with the former Porsche Junior Klaus Bachler (Austria), Christian Ried (Germany) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi). Both teams field the Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE-Am class of the WEC.
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal LMP1-class: “It was a good test for us. We have been running a few new items and preparing for the six-hour race at the end of August. Because the Nürburgring is new on the WEC calendar, we had no data from before. For the drivers it was an important experience too to be here with the 919. We have been working on the car’s set-up and the hybrid management for this particular track. Also running in the wet on Monday was a useful exercise for everyone. We are very much looking forward to the first WEC race in Germany. It is home soil for the fastest WEC cars and Porsche has very close ties with the Nürburgring. This is historically from great sports car successes for the brand, as well as due to current test and development work for road going cars.”
Olaf Manthey, team principal Porsche Team Manthey: “We already conducted some tests one day last week at the Nürburgring and we were able to work on all the points on our list. So the fact that the weather didn’t quite cooperate for us yesterday was not so dramatic. We made the most of the changeable weather conditions, for instance, by checking to see how long we could stay out on the track on slicks in the rain and how long our wet tyres could hold out on a dry track. Moreover, we tested different setups and components. The conditions on Tuesday were better. We tried to pack in as much as possible and this too went very well. It was important that we could test with both cars. All in all it was a very good and productive test session on our home track. Now we’re looking forward to the premiere of the WEC in the Eifel.”