Double pole in Japan
Round seven of the WEC sees Porsche on top in torrential rain
Porsche Motorsport is stamping its authority on an increasingly tempestuous Fuji International Speedway. Despite treacherous conditions, the Le Mans winning No. 2 919 Hybrid of Hartley, Bamber and Bernhard found pole position for tomorrow’s seventh round of the World Endurance Championship, with victory here enough to earn them the driver’s title. The sister car of Tandy, Lotterer and Jani was hot on their heels, locking out the front row for the third time in a row.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1, was cautiously optimistic: “Due to the bad weather forecast for tomorrow it is very important to have both Porsches starting from the front row – this could be an advantage for us. We have again collected another point in the defence of both world championship titles. As expected, Toyota was very fast. A huge compliment to our whole team for a tremendous concerted effort. Now we are looking forward to an endurance race that will be the third last for us with the 919 Hybrid.”
Meanwhile Fred Makowiecki and Richard Lietz have done the double in the GTE-Pro class, taking their maiden pole for the 911 RSR and the second for the team in its inaugural season.
Richard Lietz was on a high after a challenging but successful session: “It’s a wonderful feeling to have achieved the second pole position of the season for Porsche. We didn’t really expect this because our car normally runs better in the race. We could certainly do with the extra point towards the championship. I’m thrilled for the team; they’ve worked very hard over the last days. As things look at the moment, our 911 RSR is very fast on a wet track. So we’re hoping for rain for tomorrow’s race.”
It looks like his wish will almost certainly be granted. The lights go out tomorrow (Sunday) at 11am local time, 4am CEST. Good luck to all the teams and drivers.