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03 Apr 2017

Positive debut for the Porsche 919 Hybrids

Pre-season preparation in Monza for the reigning champions. 

The Porsche LMP1 Team is pleased with its performance at the season Prologue in Monza. 27 cars were present, with title defender Porsche debuting the new 919 Hybrid at the high-speed circuit. Toyota also unveiled their new TS050 Hyrbid, with both manufacturers running two cars. The 2017 duel of the two Class One prototypes is eagerly awaited, especially at the Le Mans 24-Hours as the season’s highlight.

At the Prologue, Toyota set the overall best lap time. Neel Jani recorded the fastest lap for a Porsche 919 Hybrid on Saturday, lapping the 5.793 kilometre long track in 1:31.666 minutes. The reigning world champion shares the 919 Hybrid with Porsche’s newcomer André Lotterer and Nick Tandy who returned to the LMP1 family. Together the trio of the number 1 car covered 331 laps (1,906 kilometres) in two days.

At the wheel of the number 2 Porsche it was Earl Bamber who set the fastest lap in 1:31.823 minutes. Just like for the sister car, this was achieved during a qualifying simulation on Saturday evening. Bamber took over Mark Webber’s seat and teams up with Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley. The number 2 car crew completed a total of 329 laps (1,894 km) during the Prologue in Monza.

Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “Thanks to a great team effort, we look back not only on a pretty tough week but also on a very successful one. In Paul Ricard, we have concluded one of the best endurance tests ever. This was followed by the car unveiling in Monza which resulted in very positive feedback for the car’s new livery. The two test days at the Prologue were excellent and given the close competition spectators can look forward to a thrilling world championship.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “We had split the Prologue into two test phases. On Saturday we focussed on the car’s set-up and managed to improve it. The rain in the evening was an asset because we could practice quick turnarounds in changing conditions. On Sunday we did race simulations with both cars to investigate tyre wear and exercise race-specific routines like pit stops.

“To meet Toyota for the first time with us and them driving low downforce aero configurations like you’d have in Le Mans was obviously very interesting for both of us. Testing doesn’t allow for proper judgement, but certainly we will see very close competition in every type of track condition. For us as a team it is very important to feel absolutely ready now for the season’s curtain raiser on April 16th at Silverstone.”

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