Motor Sport News - - Contents - Photos: LAT, Jakob Ebrey, Wec.com Gor­don Spice’s top cars, p31

Porsche dom­i­nated the times dur­ing last week­end’s FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship Pro­logue of­fi­cial test at Paul Ri­card with its new 919 Hy­brid LMP1.

The re­worked Le Mans win­ner locked out the two fastest times across the two day test in France, with Bren­don Hart­ley set­ting the out­right fastest time to pip Neel Jani’s evening ef­fort in the sis­ter car. Both times were set dur­ing qual­i­fy­ing sim­u­la­tion runs.

Porsche’s new LMP1 chal­lenger is an up­dated ver­sion of last year’s car, car­ry­ing over the same two-litre V4 com­bus­tion en­gine twinned with Porsche’s lithium ion bat­tery en­ergy stor­age con­cept. The en­gine has been light­ened and Porsche has fo­cused on find­ing ex­tra ef­fi­ciency from its hy­brid sys­tems and has also brought in a new front axle to in­crease set-up op­tions.

For this year Porsche has been able to use the data col­lated from its world cham­pi­onship-win­ning 2015 cam­paign to cre­ate three be­spoke aero­dy­namic kits for the WEC. It will start the sea­son with a high-downforce kit for the first time at Sil­ver­sone, be­fore run­ning low downforce for Spa and Le Mans. A third kit will fea­ture for the fi­nal six WEC rounds.

The two new 919 Hy­brids racked up 1365 miles of run­ning dur­ing the Pro­logue. Porsche Team head Fritz Enzinger said: “We had a trou­ble-free run for both cars and got good feed­back from our driv­ers. There­fore we are con­fi­dent for Sil­ver­stone.

“Only there will it be pos­si­ble to judge prop­erly the over­all com­pe­ti­tion. The Pro­logue is like the first scan of the grid and it is very use­ful.”

Mark Web­ber, who will share with Hart­ley and Timo Bern­hard, said: “Over­all it is a pos­i­tive test for us. We got a lot of laps in. We don’t know much about the op­po­si­tion but we pre­pared as best as we can for Sil­ver­stone. Be­fore com­ing here, we hadn’t done much high­down­force work so this was good.”

Porsche has re­tained Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Ro­main Du­mas for its sec­ond 919 Hy­brid.

The Sil­ver­stone sea­son-opener is on April 16-17.

New 919 Hy­brid was fastest over­all in test

MARCH 30 2016

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