Stuttgart. After 15 of the 24 hours of Le Mans the Porsche Team has moved further up the order. The two Porsche 919 Hybrids are now running 2nd and 5th.
Despite slight problems with the car balance Mark Webber in car No 20 stayed out for a quadruple stint. 46 minutes after midnight he was replaced by Timo Bernhard who also did four stints. Before the German turned the car over to Brendon Hartley at 3:37 am he had advanced to P3 thanks to a consistently quick drive. The young New Zealander however had a little moment when he touched a slower car while lapping it. Luckily, the incident did not have any further consequences. At 5:10 am Hartley moved up into 2nd place.
Neel Jani in the No 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid also managed to do four stints. The Swiss driver put in fast laps for 191 full minutes. At 2:23 am he handed the car over to Marc Lieb. The German had to make an unscheduled stop at 3:46 am for a repair. Again it was the fuel system playing up. Lieb rejoined the race after 17 minutes in 6th position. By 6:00 am at dawn he had moved up to 4th before a little off, shortly before the driver change, put him back to 5th place.
Mark Webber: “I did four stints in row until after midnight. My first stints really racing at Le Mans have been a great experience for me. The car was running pretty well despite fighting a small chassis issue which compromises the car and brake balances. Brendon and I both ran into the escape road once. We keep adjusting the balance in the cockpit which keeps us pretty busy. The team in the pit lane is doing a great job.”
Timo Bernhard: “The quadruple stint to half past three in the morning wasn’t easy. We still have some issues with the balance of the car, which makes it difficult to drive. Nevertheless our lap times have been quite consistent and we managed to gain a position.”
Neel Jani: “In the night it went quite well. When it is cooler, it is easier for us. The car felt better after we had struggled a bit in the heat. The lap times were good and at the level of the leading cars. We could catch up a bit and that is always fun.”
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