Test Day, World Endurance Championship WEC, Round 2 in Le Mans/France
On June 16, the 86th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours takes off. This weekend’s official pre-test marked the start of the critical phase for the world’s toughest automobile race. 180 drivers and 60 vehicles will fight for victory at Le Mans. With four ca. 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR contesting the GTE-Pro class, Porsche fields the largest GT works contingent in the company’s history at the 13.626-kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures. Four customer squads run an additional six 911 RSR in the GTE-Am class. At the test day, fans saw the two works cars with the starting numbers 91 and 92 sporting the traditional Le Mans livery from the 1970s and 1980s for the first time on the track. With 19 overall victories and 105 class wins, Porsche is a record holder at Le Mans.
In slightly cloudy conditions and just under 28 degrees Celsius, all twelve Porsche works drivers worked on optimising various setups at the pre-test. Patrick Pilet (France), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and the New Zealander Earl Bamber reeled off 912,942 kilometres in the #93 Porsche 911 RSR, making them the fastest on the test day. Richard Lietz (Austria), Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki covered 1034,576 kilometres in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR and clocked the second best time in the GTE-Pro category. Kévin Estre (France), Michael Christensen from Denmark and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) shared driving duties in the sister car with the starting number 92. In the two four-hour test sessions, they covered a distance of 940,194 kilometres and turned the seventh best lap time. Timo Bernhard from Germany, Romain Dumas (France) and Sven Müller (Germany) completed 65 laps and 885,69 kilometres. They share the cockpit of the #94 racer from Weissach and posted the fourteenth best time.
The customer teams Dempsey Proton Racing, Proton Competition, Project 1, Gulf Racing and Ebimotors campaign six additional Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE-Am class. They, too, used the pre-test to focus on the setup and tyres. The driver trio with Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France), Christian Ried (Germany) and Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia) of Dempsey Proton Racing set with 3:55,970 minutes the best time in the GTE-Am class.
The race starts on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at 15.00 hrs CEST. Eurosport 1 broadcasts round two of the World Endurance Championship live and free-to-view. The TV channel also airs the free practice and qualifying sessions. Sport1 televises highlights of the endurance race in a 60-minute programme on Monday, 18 June, from 23.00 hrs. This sports channel also provides online clips of the race at www.sport1.de.
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