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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Porsche “anticipated to be nearer” in Le Mans GTE Professional battle

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The Weissach marque endured a disappointing 24 hours wherein it not often matched the category leaders for the second yr in a row, however completed third and fourth in GTE Professional after the second entries from Ferrari and Corvette each hit issues.

It notably struggled for straightline pace, with each manufacturing facility vehicles 3.4km/h down on Ferrari and 5.2 km/h down on the very best determine notched by the delayed #64 Corvette.

Though the manufacturing facility #92 entry of Kevin Estre, Neel Jani and Michael Christensen salvaged third, a most rating within the double factors spherical of the World Endurance Championship means Estre and Jani now sit 12 factors behind the #51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado.

Porsche escaped the Balance of Performance hits handed right down to Ferrari and had anticipated the race to be a a lot nearer affair.

Porsche’s head of WEC operations Alexander Stehlig mentioned the marque would search additional dialogue with the FIA and occasion organiser the Vehicle Membership de l’Ouest to make clear its efficiency deficit.

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“The race wasn’t solely tough, it was additionally disappointing for us. We had anticipated to battle for victory,” Stehlig mentioned.

“Regardless of our good and systematic preparation, we didn’t have the lap-time efficiency and the highest pace we’d hoped for in comparison with the competitors.

“We’ll now take a while to analyse every thing as soon as once more with the FIA and ACO to see why we weren’t fairly capable of match the efficiency of our opposition within the race.”

Requested by Autosport whether or not Porsche had anticipated its deficit, Zurlinden mentioned: “Positively we’d have anticipated to be nearer, now we have to analyse it.”

Richard Lietz, who shared the #91 entry that completed fourth with Gianmaria Bruni and Fred Makowiecki, mentioned the “painful” efficiency was “not adequate”.

“In the event you don’t have any punctures at Le Mans, if the group does a flawless job, should you implement a superb technique after which solely end on third and fourth, then you must take a superb take a look at issues,” he mentioned.

“This end result shouldn’t be adequate. Anybody who watched the race is aware of that it was a painful 24 hours for us. Now now we have to take a look at why.”

#91 Porsche GT Staff Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE Professional, Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz, Frederic Makowiecki

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Elaborating on the place the race acquired away from the group, Zurlinden cited Estre’s lap 4 spin that dropped him into the GTE Am pack and the timing of a security automobile simply earlier than midnight to get better Rui Andrade’s crashed LMP2 ORECA on the Dunlop Curve which break up each Porsches behind a special prepare than the leaders.

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Jani had been within the lead group when a badly-timed full course yellow coincided with its seventh cease – the foundations stipulating that solely a five-second fill is allowed – which required the Swiss to pit once more two laps later for the complete complement.

“I’d say there was two essential moments,” mentioned Zurlinden.

“One was the spin of Kevin, as a result of on the finish we noticed most likely our poor in straight-line efficiency, he was struggling going by the Am vehicles.

“But when he would have been with the blokes on the entrance, he would have been driving freely and will have adopted them.

“After which I feel at one level we had a security automobile which additionally break up him.

“He was within the first group, then the security automobile got here and he discovered himself with #91 of the second group which implies he misplaced 1/3 of a lap and that is all the time tough to get again.

“It’s essential to be a bit fortunate with gradual zones and with nonetheless different security vehicles, just like the final years. Generally it’s Positive for your self, typically it’s unfavorable.

“I’d say one was the spin at first, the second second was earlier than midnight the security automobile which break up the GTE class.”

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