Porsche Takes Front Row for Le Mans 24 Hour
Porsche has managed to secure the front row for the 84th running of the Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race taking place this weekend with Neel Jani claiming his second consecutive pole for the prestigious event. Rain washed out Thursday’s qualifying session that allowed Jani’s time of 3:19.733 delivered in the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid from Wednesday’s practice session to count as the qualifying time. Jani now becomes the first Swiss driver to make back-to-back pole appearances since Stephane Sarrazin went three years in a row from 2007-2009. Responsibilities in the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid will be shared by Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas.
Defending FIA World Endurance Champions Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley will pilot Porsche’s sister entry #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid that put up a lap time of 3:20.203 on Wednesday. Toyota Gazoo Racing teammates complete the second row with Sarrazin in the Toyota TS050 alongside Anthony Davidson. Ford dominates the GTE-Pro class with four of the top five positions helping to announce the Blue Oval’s return to Le Mans with high expectations.
The Le Mans 24 Hour represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motosport alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the Grand Prix of Monaco. There are several aspects of the Le Mans 24 Hour that help to separate this event from other examples of racing that commonly take place on a normal racing calendar. 60 cars being piloted by drivers from 30 countries will race side-by-side against vehicles from multiple classes around an 8.4-miles circuit during this twice-around-the-clock endurance classic. The Le Mans 24 Hour requires manufactures to produce racecars that are able to withstand the punishment of running nonstop for 24 hours while maintaining top speed. This grueling expedition of speed and endurance will test the mental stamina of every driver while pushing every car on the field to its limits.