Brendon Hartley is confident his Porsche squad can make up for missing out at Silverstone this weekend at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuits as he looks to put last month's disappointment behind him.
The New Zealand driver was involved in a mid-race collision during the 2016 Word Endurance Championship season opener at Silverstone. While lapping the #86 GTE-Am entry of Michael Wainwright in the Gulf Racing Porsche at Abbey he cut across and collided which tipped both cars into a dramatic crash, almost rolling the Porsche 919 Hybrid in the process.
The clash saw the #1 Porsche tumble out while leading but the LMP1 squad were given comfort when the sister #2 Porsche of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb were handed victory after the initial winning Audi was excluded from the final classification due to a technical infringement.
Hartley feels the Porsche 919 Hybrid will once again have the pace to lead from the front and is keen to make amends after crashing out at Silverstone.
“I'm very much looking forward to Spa,” Hartley said. “Firstly, because I love the track, secondly because I think it should be a good one for our 919 Hybrid, and lastly because it's a chance to well and truly put the Silverstone race behind me. Car number 1 does not have any runs on the board, but I'm confident we will bounce back and get our title defence underway in Spa.”
Webber has backed-up his team-mate's assurances and after extensive long run testing at Jerez, experimenting with the manufacturer's Le Mans aero package, he feels the challenge will be to manage the traffic lapping slower cars at Spa.
“We were in great shape in Silverstone, and we had the pace for victory,” Webber said. “Spa will require a very different set-up for the car and we have to see how this goes compared to the opposition. Also, again, it will be a real mission to get the balance right in handling the traffic.”