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WEC: Porsche hopes poor rehearsal sparks Le Mans resurgence

Porsche's vice president of LMP1 operations Fritz Enzinger feels the run of poor form will act as a kick-start for its Le Mans preparations.
Porsche's vice president of LMP1 operations Fritz Enzinger feels the run of poor form will act as a kick-start for its preparation ahead of Le Mans 24 Hours after both cars were hit with technical issues.

The defending World Endurance Champions of the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard were dealt a heavy blow to their title ambitions due to a series of mechanical woes which ultimately denied them any shot at the front-runners.

While battling for the lead with the #5 Toyota, Bernhard in the #1 Porsche suffered a puncture and was forced to run a whole lap on three wheels. The consequential damage plagued the car's performance for the remainder of the race, suffering multiple wheel issues and a broken gearbox, and limped to the chequered flag 27th overall.

Combined with the car's DNF at Silverstone due to an on-track collision the defending champions head to Le Mans point-less.

The #2 Porsche had its own trials to contend with after losing all hybrid power just six laps in. Due to the race of attrition and the trio of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb steering clear of any further trouble the car got home in second place – making it a near-perfect start to 2016 after being handed victory at Silverstone post-race.

With neither car enjoying a pain-free race weekend Enzinger hopes his squad can learn from the problems and it will act as a strong motivator for the blue riband event in the WEC calendar next month.

“The opening round at Silverstone wasn't easy but here in Spa it was even more difficult, although we were starting from the front row with both cars,” Enzinger said. “Having achieved a second place finish despite the technical problems early in the race on the number 2 car proves again: giving up is never an option in endurance racing. Car number 1 was very unlucky in the race.

“In the world of theatre people say a bad dress rehearsal is a happy omen for the premiere. This is how we consider our race day in Spa now with regards to Le Mans.

“We will not leave a stone unturned and painstaking prepare for the 24 Hours. Many thanks to the entire crew here on site and in Weissach for their efforts.”

Despite its troubles Porsche leads both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships after two rounds and heads to Le Mans as defending champions after its third car memorably claimed victory last year.


Tagged as: Porsche

Related Pictures

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Timo Bernhard (GER) / Mark Webber (AUS) / Brendon Hartley (NZL) #01 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid. 05.05.2016. FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 2, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley - Porsche 919 Hybrid
Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley - Porsche 919 Hybrid
Timo Bernhard (GER) / Mark Webber (AUS) / Brendon Hartley (NZL) #01 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid. 05.05.2016. FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 2, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Timo Bernhard (GER) / Mark Webber (AUS) / Brendon Hartley (NZL) #01 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid. 05.05.2016. FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 2, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Timo Bernhard (GER) / Mark Webber (AUS) / Brendon Hartley (NZL) #01 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid. 05.05.2016. FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 2, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Brendon Hartley ensured that Porsche remained at the top of the WEC Prologue timesheets
#2 Porsche 919 Hybrid continued to set WEC Prologue pace after dark
#2 Porsche sets pace on day one of WEC prologue   [pic credit: Porsche]
Porsche 919 Hybrid [Cedit: Porsche]
Porsche 919 Hybrid [Cedit: Porsche]
Ben Barker joins Gulf Racing for 2016 WEC   [pic credit: Total 911]
Earl Bamber, Porsche LMP1, WEC [Credit: XPB]
Hulkenberg/Bamber/Tandy - Porsche 919 Hybrid [credit: FIA WEC]
Porsche
Lieb/Dumas/Jani - Porsche Motorsport
Lieb/Dumas/Jani - Porsche Motorsport
Mark Webber (AUS), Porsche, WEC Silverstone [Credit: XPB]

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