All three LMP1-H class teams in the World Endurance Championship can lay claim to the Nürburgring as their home race, yet it’s Porsche who’ll be starting on pole.
The LMP1 results looked much like how the season itself is going right now: two Porsches out in front, then two Audis, then two Toyotas, and then the two privateer teams. Rebellion’s two cars came out ahead of Team ByKolles’s one. Same as it ever was? Same as it ever was.
If they maintain their near-perfect performance from Le Mans, Porsche could very well just run away with the end of the year. Both Audi and Toyota have confirmed that most of their efforts are already on their 2016 car, and Porsche’s been the fastest all year long. I’m sure both teams have a 919-shaped voodoo doll somewhere in the back of their haulers, just in case. Yesterday, Toyota openly wished for some rain.
It’s the number 18 Porsche of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb who’ll start out in front.
Mark Webber, Timo Berhnard and Brendon Hartley aren’t far behind in the number 17 Porsche, though. Only 0.o69 of a second separates the two Porsches. When I asked Webber how he intended to beat his teammate, he replied that it will be “tough to squeeze past them at some point” if it’s a straight fight between the two Porsche LMP1s. Strategy, traffic, or an error on the sister car’s part, Webber explained, will likely have to play a part.
Number 17 has had a lot of pole positions, but no wins yet. They’re hoping to turn that around this weekend in front of this home crowd.
One of Porsche’s third car drivers from Le Mans—Nick Tandy—is in a car that will be starting from the front of the LMP2 grid. KCMG won pole there, and Tandy’s back with them for the 6 Hours of Nürburgring.
Look who reappeared in LMP2! Team SARD Morand. The confiscated car made it back in time to qualify for the race. Driver Oliver Webb couldn’t explain why the car was taken—the drivers have been kept somewhat in the dark about the whole situation—but confirmed that it was back yesterday morning. SARD Morand will start fifth on the grid, ahead of the Strakka Racing car and the two Extreme Speed Motorsports cars, which both seemed to have had some technical issue per ESM driver David Heinemeier Hansson:
AF Corse’s number 51 Ferrari 458 took pole in GTE Pro, and SMP Racing’s Ferrari 458 is on pole for GTE Am. With no Corvette Racing on their tail, could AF Corse this into a win? We’ll find out tomorrow.