Paving the way for training and qualifying.
The preparations of the Porsche teams for the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) are already in full swing: On Sunday, June 4, they could gather some insights on the 13,626 kilometer-long track.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the three Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 vehicles rolled onto the hot asphalt of the Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time. On a sunny and summery day, the driver teams of the #5, #6 and #75 completed a total of 1934,9 kilometers in 142 rounds. Though the number five and six already completed three runs throughout the WEC race calendar, the test run is of equally great improtance for them as the #75, which will participate as additional vehicle for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Beside them, the Customer Racing team Hertz Team JOTA could also gain essential information for the upcoming race, expanding upon their first experiences with the Porsche 963 in Spa-Francorchamps.
The teams fully focused on tire testing, data collection and changes on the racetrack. Particularly the latter was relevant, as 70 percent of the track sections run on public roads and these are subject to signs of wear – that is what defines Le Mans. André Lotterer reported, "I have the impression that the bumps have become more extreme in some places - for example in the Indianapolis area." The Customer Racing Team driver Ben Barker in the Porsche 911 RSR #86 also noticed the changes, "The curbs in the Tertre Rouge area are new, and there's also new tarmac in some sections."
As the temperatures rose up to 27° Celsius, the tire performance also improved and the vehicles could test higher speeds in the tighter turns. All this helps the teams prepare for the first two free practices and the qualifying on Wednesday, June 7. The teams are satisfied with the results, even though the Porsche 963 #75 was forced to take a break for two hours as a component of the braking system had to be switched out due to a defect. Feel good moment of the day: Laurens Vanthoor performed the second-fastest lap with a lap time of 3:29,648 minutes in the Porsche 963 #6.