For the six-hour race on the British Grand Prix circuit qualifying was run for the first time according to the 2015 regulations. As in the past, two drivers shared qualifying duties, but now only their respective best lap time counts. The average of these two laps decides the grid position. Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber were at the wheel of the number 17 car. Their average lap time of 1:39.721 minutes secured them the first pole position for the new 919. Hot on their heals were Romain Dumas and Neel Jani in the number 18 sister car, with an average lap time of 1:40.340 minutes.
While it was cold but sunny, it was dry again for qualifying after it had been raining in the morning for free practice three. In this session Timo Bernhard (Nr. 17) and Marc Lieb (Nr. 18) where also behind the wheels of their respective cars. On the wet and then drying track the Porsche LMP1 cars came third (Nr. 18) and fourth (Nr. 17).
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “By having both Porsche 919 Hybrids on the front row, we begin the new season just where we ended the previous one. However, tomorrow’s race will be tough work for us. The weather forecast predicts a chance of rain for the last third of the race, and today in the third free practice session we could clearly see we need to improve in the wet. All four drivers did an absolutely convincing job in today’s qualifying and delivered spot on. Thanks to the team that did a great job of preparation and over 30,000 kilometres of testing.”
The best Porsche 911 RSR starts from the second grid row of the GT field. During qualifying on the storied British race track, Porsche’s works drivers Richard Lietz (Austria) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) planted their 470 hp 911 RSR with the starting number 91 on the fourth grid spot in the GTE-Pro class. In the sister 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche Manthey squad, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, their French factory pilot colleagues Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet set the sixth quickest time.
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “I’m okay with the result of the number 91 car. It’s what we expected. But I’m not completely satisfied with the time of the #92 911 RS. We’ll analyse why we weren’t faster. Our former junior Klaus Bachler performed extremely well for our customer team Abu Dhabi Proton Racing. Third in the GTE-Am class is a superb achievement and it underlines what the 911 RSR is capable of.”
The Silverstone race is the first of eight rounds in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship. The six-hour race will start on Sunday at 12:00 hrs local time.
1. Nygaard/Sörensen/Thiim (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage, 1:59.970 minutes
2. MacDowall/Stanaway/Rees (GB/NZ/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.205 sec.
3. Turner/Mücke (GB/D), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.363
4. Christensen/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.681
5. Bruni/Vilander (I/SF), Ferrari 458 Italia, + 0.731
6. Makowiecki/Pilet (F/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.621
1. Lamy/Dalla Lana/Lauda (P/CAN/A), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:01.998 minutes
2. Roda/Ruberti/Poulsen (I/I/DK), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.939 sec.
3. Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi (D/A/UAE), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.136
4. Collard/Perrodo/Aguas (F/F/P), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.484
5. Shaytar/Bertolini/Basov (RUS/I/RUS), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 2.116
6. Castellacci/Goethe/Hall (I/D/GB), Aston Martin, + 3.052
7. Dempsey/Long/Seefried (USA/USA/D), Porsche 911 RSR, + 4.026