We’re still two weeks out from the 24 Hours of Le Mans World Endurance Championship race, but yesterday, the FIA sanctioning body granted teams the chance to run two four-hour practice sessions at the track.
In both of these practice sessions, Porsche LMP1 cars once again set the pace for everyone else to follow.
The No. 18 Porsche 919 Hybrid dominated the first of these two practice sessions, although by a fairly narrow margin. The Porsche LMP1 car, piloted by Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, and Neel Jani, posted a fastest lap just four-tenths ahead of its No. 9 LMP1 rival from Audi. In the second practice of the day, the No. 17 Porsche LMP1 race car of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, and Brendon Hartley topped the timesheets, with the No. 19 Porsche 919 of teammates Nico Hülkenberg, Earl Bamber, and Nick Tandy coming in just below.
More notably, in both practices, LMP1 rivals from Toyota and Nissan were unable to break into the top 6 positions; Porsche, and Volkswagen AG sibling Audi, locked the Japanese manufacturers out.
Three examples of the front-wheel drive Nissan NISMO LMP1 GT-R were among the cars which ran both practice sessions, demonstrating that the unusual endurance racer is practically capable on the historic Le Mans circuit. But all three examples failed to outperform even the seventh- and eighth-fastest LMP1 cars from Toyota.
Of course, as those following the 2015 WEC season already know, taking the first few spots in practices and qualifying rounds has never been the difficult part for the Porsche LMP1 cars. Rather, the obstacle at Le Mans – as elsewhere – will be finishing the race without any lead-robbing failures.
Source: NBC Sports.