Two 911 RSRs, represented by the Porsche GT team, qualified at Hyperpole in 24 Hours of Le Mans. Works driver Lawrence Vantour from Belgium and Frederic Makavetsky from France finished the qualifying session at the 13,626-kilometer racetrack in first and third place in the GTE-Pro class.
In the GTE-Am category, car number 77 of Dempsey-Proton Racing entered the top six. Only the six fastest cars from each of the two GTE classes are eligible to compete for the best positions in the network this Thursday from 20:00 (CEST). The 911 RSR, in which Michael Fassbender celebrates his debut at Le Mans, did not qualify for the bully. Fassbender had an accident during qualifying but was not injured.
“A few drops of rain fell, a red flag came out, and then began to fall – to find the perfect temporary window for the flight circle in these conditions was not easy,” – says Alexander Stelig, director of the plant Motorsport FIA WEC. “Our goal was to qualify both cars for Hyperpole. We managed it and so we are happy. A look at the timesheet shows that it is close between all the manufacturers. That’s exactly what we were hoping for. “
At the beginning of the qualifying session Makovetsky in the car № 91 and his colleague on the brand Vanthoor in the car-sister № 92 first waited in the pits for a few minutes. The crew on the pits then sent two vehicles to the track at the most convenient time so that both drivers were faced with as little traffic as possible and could get the most out of their ca. 378 kW (515 PS) 911. Setting a time of 3: 50.999 minutes, Vanthoor was only 0.383 seconds faster than Makovetsky. Due to the wet track in the second half of the 60-minute session it was impossible to improve the time.
In the GTE-Am class, Briton Harry Tinknell landed № 77, exhibited by Dempsey-Proton Racing at P5 with a time of 3: 54.224 minutes – and thus hit Hyperpole. Positions in the network for all other Porsche 911 RSRs in the amateur category have already been determined. The 911 from GR Racing is in seventh place, with two Project 1 cars just behind. The 911 entries voiced by WeatherTech Racing and Hardpoint ranked eleventh and twelfth, respectively, and two Proton cars ranked 18th and 21st in the network.
This Thursday, the program includes two free training sessions plus Hyperpole, in which all four classes decide to fight for the best positions in the network. There will be no more races on the 13,626-kilometer 24 Heures track on Friday, instead riders will take center stage at the traditional driver’s parade in central Le Mans. The 90th edition of the 24-hour classic begins Saturday at 4pm (CEST).
Impressions of drivers after qualification
Lawrence Vantour (Porsche 911 RSR № 92): “It was a very good circle and I was lucky. Just before turning on the long straight I was overtaken by a pair of LMP2 cars, which gave me a good slipstream. This definitely helped to reach a decent top speed. Overall, it was a clean drive, so we deserve to be in a temporary pole position. ”
Frederick Makawiecki (Porsche 911 RSR № 91): “I was able to set a pretty good lap time, which was enough to get to Hyperpole. At the same time, we got a further idea of how to optimize our car for a long 24-hour race. Our engineers have great ideas and they are doing a fantastic job. ”
Harry Tinknell (Porsche 911 RSR № 77): “It simply came to our notice then. Our Porsche 911 RSR felt better than ever in qualifying. The team moved in the right direction to set up the settings. Since the pace on this track is very high, the little things matter. If you even slightly change the shock absorbers or adjust the rear wing by one degree, it is immediately noticeable. We are well located. I think we will be able to make a strong circle in Hyperpole. However, it is much more important to finish the race well. “
The result of the qualification
1. Christensen / Estre / Vanthur (DK / F / B), Porsche 911 RSR №92, 3: 50.999 minutes
2. Garcia / Taylor / Catsburg (E / USA / NL), Corvette C8.R # 63, 3: 51.132 minutes
3. Bruni / Lits / Makovetsky (I / A / F), Porsche 911 RSR # 91, 3: 51.382 minutes
4. Tandy / Milner / Sims (GB / USA / GB), Corvette C8.R №64, 3: 51.491 minutes
5. Calado / Pier Guidi / Serra (GB / I / BR), Ferrari 488 GTE # 51, 3: 51.502 minutes
6. Fuoco / Molina / Rigon (I / E / I), Ferrari 488 GTE # 52, 3: 51,614 minutes
7. Fraga / Bird / Van Gisbergen (BR / GB / NZ), Ferrari 488 GTE # 74, 3: 54,116 minutes
1. Dala Lana / Pittard / Thiem (CDN / GB / DK), Aston Martin №98, 3: 52.559 minutes
2. Kimura / Schandorf / Jensen (J / DK / DK), Ferrari 488 GTE # 57, 3: 53.489 minutes
3. Cassidy / Flor / Castellachi (NZ / CH / I), Ferrari 488 GTE # 54, 3: 53,690 minutes
5. Ried / Priaulx / Tincknell (D / GB / GB), Porsche 911 RSR # 77, 3: 54.224 minutes
7. Wainwright / Barker / Pera (GB / GB / I), Porsche 911 RSR № 86, 3: 54.323 minutes
8. Iribe / Barnicoat / Millroy (US / GB / GB), Porsche 911 RSR №56, 3: 54.510 minutes
9. Leutwiler / Cairoli / Pedersen (CH / I / DK), Porsche 911 RSR # 46, 3: 54.533 minutes
11. McNeill / Andlauer / Meryl (USA / F / USA), Porsche 911 RSR №79, 3: 54.912 minutes
12. Haryanto / Picariello / Rump (RI / B / EST), Porsche 911 RSR №99, 3: 55.076 minutes
18. Poordad / Heylen / Root (US / US / US), Porsche 911 RSR # 88, 3: 56.516 minutes
21. Campbell / Fassbender / Robison (AUS / IRL / CDN), Porsche 911 RSR # 93, 4: 07.907 minutes