Hyperpole GTE, FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 7, Le Mans/France
Porsche 911 RSR tackles 24 Hours of Le Mans from pole position
The Porsche GT Team will take up the 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans from pole position in the GTE-Pro class. In today’s Hyperpole, the Italian Gianmaria Bruni turned the fastest lap at the wheel of the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR in 3:50.874 minutes. His brand colleague Michael Christensen from Denmark planted the No. 92 sister car on sixth place. In the GTE-Am category, works pilot Matt Campbell was the fastest Porsche driver. The Australian claimed the second grid spot in his class with the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Dempsey-Proton Racing. He was only 0.056 seconds off the top time.
In the new 30-minute shootout for the best grid positions, the two ca. 515 hp Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the factory squad attacked immediately at the start. Bruni promptly turned the fastest lap, however, his time was cancelled due to him leaving the track in the area of the Porsche Curves. The Italian, who had set a lap record for GTE vehicles in 2018, did not let the stewards’ decision deter him. In his second flying lap, Bruni immediately undercut his previous top time. Teammate Christensen, however, encountered traffic and was unable to improve on his time during his final attempt towards the end of the session.
In the GTE-Am class, the young factory driver Matt Campbell planted the Porsche 911 RSR in last year’s spec on second place with a time of 3:51.322 minutes. At the wheel of Dempsey-Proton Racing’s No. 77 car, the Australian was faster in the Hyperpole than half of the GTE-Pro field. Italy’s Matteo Cairoli claimed the third grid spot in the identical No. 56 car run by the Project 1 team. Benjamin Barker from Great Britain posted the sixth quickest time in the 510 hp 911 RSR fielded by Gulf Racing (No. 86).
Porsche Motorsport posts all information on the Porsche 911 RSR, the team and the works drivers as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the first outright Porsche victory from 1970 on the website https://media.porsche.com/motorsport2020.
Comments on the Hyperpole
Fritz Enzinger (Vice President Motorsport): “That was a great qualifying. We’ve achieved pole position in the fiercely competitive GTE-Pro class – with a car that has never competed on this track before. Congratulations to our customer teams. Second and third on the grid in the GTE-Am category is a tremendous result. Thanks to the team’s great work, we’re now perfectly prepared for the race. The weather forecast predicts rain. I’m sure that it’ll be an exciting and spectacular competition over 24 hours.”
Alexander Stehlig (Head of Operations FIA WEC): “Pole position at Le Mans! What a fantastic debut for the Porsche 911 RSR-19 on this special racetrack. We learned a lot with every lap. Between the sessions and during the short night we analyzed all the details and precisely made the right conclusions. I’d like to thank all of our drivers, engineers and mechanics. Everyone pulled together and made sure that our car is now very well sorted for the upcoming 24-hour race.”
Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “After initial difficulties in the first practice, we completely changed the setup of our car – with success! Our 911 RSR is now significantly easier to drive. That became obvious in the qualifying and the Hyperpole. I didn’t make any mistakes in my flying lap and now I’m on pole with my teammates Richard and Fred. It’s a fantastic result for Porsche. Now we want to be just as successful in the race.”
Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “One Porsche is on pole but unfortunately I was only able to qualify our car on sixth place. We need to take another good look at the data to see why we weren’t quite at the same level as the sister car. The starting position at a 24-hour race isn’t the main thing. The pace over the distance is more important. And that’s exactly where we’re looking good. We should be fast, especially during the long night. I’m now looking forward to the race and I’m curious to see whether the anticipated rain will actually arrive.”
Matt Campbell (Porsche 911 RSR #77): “I tried everything, but unfortunately I was less than a tenth of a second off pole in our class – what a shame. Our car is quick, not just over a single lap, but, more importantly, over the distance. That makes me very confident for the race.”
Matteo Cairoli (Porsche 911 RSR #56): “Third on the grid is a great starting position. Unfortunately, I made a minor error in the Ford chicane during my final attempt. We could’ve been even further up the field. Now, we’ll turn our full attention to the race. We’ll do everything within our power to be at the very front when the flag drops after 24 hours.”
Benjamin Barker (Porsche 911 RSR #86): “Of course I’d hoped for more, but sixth on the grid isn’t bad. I didn’t get a really clean lap during the Hyperpole, and we also lacked a bit of top speed. Our car will definitely be very competitive in the race. As far as I’m concerned, we can start!”
1. Lietz/Bruni/Makowiecki (A/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:50.874 minutes
2. Calado/Pier Guidi/Serra (GB/I/BR), Ferrari 488 GTE, 3:51.115 minutes
3. Sörensen/Thiim/Westbrook (DK/DK/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:51.241 minutes
4. Lynn/Martin/Tincknell (GB/B/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:51.324 minutes
5. Rigon/Molina/Bird (I/E/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE, 3:51.515 minutes
6. Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor (DK/F/B), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:51.770 minutes
1. Ledogar/Negri Jr./Piovanetti (F/USA/E), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 3:51.266 minutes
2. Campbell/Ried/Pera (AUS/D/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:51.322 minutes
3. Perfetti/ten Voorde/Cairoli (N/NL/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:51.647 minutes
4. Gunn/Dalla Lana/Farfus (GB/CDN/BR), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:52.105 minutes
5. Yoluc/Eastwood/Adam (TR/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 3:52.299 minutes
6. Wainwright/Barker/Watson (GB/GB/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:52.346 minutes
Full results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com.
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