Porsche vice president of its LMP1 operations Fritz Ezinger says after raising the bar in the premier class with its Le Mans one-two 12 months ago its rivals have responded but doesn't want his squad to see the defence of its Le Mans title 'drive us crazy'.
After claiming a phenomenal one-two last year the Porsche squad is primed and ready to defend its teams' title, while the drivers' crowns are up for grabs after the manufacturer opted not to put in a third car entry – plus a clash of races between F1 and Le Mans – means Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber are not able to defend their titles.
Enzinger says Porsche's victory in just its second year in LMP1 was an incredible feat and demonstrated the 919 Hybrid's technological breakthrough against its rivals at Audi and Toyota.
Despite an uncertain start to 2016, with the defending World Endurance Champions of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard failing to finish at Silverstone and Spa while the #2 Porsche of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb currently leads the championship, Enzinger sees his squad as the favourites to claim a second straight victory at Le Mans but insists the team must remained unflustered and focused after recent results.
“Coming back to Le Mans for the pre-test was emotional for the entire team,” Ezinger said. “Winning in Le Mans doesn't compare to anything else, because it is so incredibly hard. The fact we made it in 2015, in only our second attempt, puts us in the role of an odds-on favourite.
“We have to make sure this doesn't drive us crazy. By no means is 2016 going to become any easier, as the opposite is the case.
“Porsche set new technology benchmarks when returning to the top category with the most advanced prototype on the grid. The competition has reacted and that's why we now all have a 24-hour race ahead of us which might become the closest in history.”