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After a strong qualifying performance and a long time in the lead in the race the two Porsche 919 Hybrids only finished fourth and fifth in the six-hour race on Saturday. Car number 14, driven by Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany), was leading the race for a long time, but suffered problems at the end and finished just in front of its sister car in Austin, Texas (USA). Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia) brought their number 20 car home in fifth place after an action packed fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), which was held half at night.

Starting drivers Dumas (P2) and Webber (P3) lost ground in the early stages of the race. They were running fifth and sixth when they came in for their first pit stops. After the first 100 minutes rain set in and led to chaos. On a track that was suddenly flooded half a dozen cars spun off and became stranded, car number 20 with Timo Bernhard at the wheel was one of them. The race was red flagged and stopped for 45 minutes. 

At the restart behind the safety car Jani was at the wheel of car number 14, and was third in the race on slick intermediate tyres. He soon took the lead, and after 105 laps handed over to Lieb who went out on slicks. After the final stop for fuel after 133 laps a loss of engine power forced him to drop back to fourth. 

Bernhard in the number 20 sister car was able to continue after the red flag and after he had been rescued from the gravel on full wet tyres, but soon changed to slick intermediate tyres as well. On lap 90 he was lying fourth and handed over to Hartley. For the last 30 minutes Webber returned to the car and finally crossed the line in fifth. 

"It wasn’t my day today," said Timo. "My stint began well before the drizzle started. I went for slick intermediate tyres but when I left the pit lane it suddenly became heavy rain. I found myself floating, I was just a passenger. Then for the restart behind the safety car we went on the safe side and took full wet tyres, but this was a disadvantage. Later with the slick intermediate tyres it was all fine. However, that’s racing."


Race result 6 hours of Austin (Texas):

1. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (CH/D/F), Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 157 laps
2. Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen (BRA/F/DK), Audi R18 e-tron quattro, – 53,016 s.
3. Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi (GB/F/CH), Toyota TS040 Hybrid, – 1:03,945 min
4. Dumas/Jani/Lieb (F/CH/D), Porsche 919 Hybrid, – 1 lap
5. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (D/NZ/AUS), Porsche 919 Hybrid, – 2 laps
6. Wurz/Sarrazin/Conway (A/F/GB), Toyota TS040 Hybrid, – 2 laps


FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) after 4 of 8 rounds:

Drivers’ standings:
1. Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi (GB/F/CH), Toyota, 96 points
2. Lotterer/Tréluyer/Fässler (D/F/CH), Audi, 85
3. Di Grassi/ Kristensen (BRA/DK), Audi, 72
4. Prost/Heidfeld/Beche (F/D/CH), Rebellion, 48
5. Dumas/Jani/Lieb (F/CH/D), Porsche, 45
6. Wurz/Sarrazin (A/F), Toyota, 43
7. Duval (F), Audi, 36
8. Gené (E), Audi, 36
9. Nakajima (J), Toyota, 35
10. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (D/NZ/AUS), Porsche, 25,5

Manufacturers’ standings:
1. Audi, 157
2. Toyota, 139 
3. Porsche, 82

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The two Porsche Team 919 Hybrid cars will start from second and third on the grid for tomorrow’s six-hour race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas (USA). Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Romain Dumas (France) shared driving duties in the number 14 car, and with an average of their four fastest laps – the two fastest laps of each of them count – a lap time of 1:50.283 minutes resulted in second. Team-mates Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia) qualified third with car number 20. Their average lap time was 1:50.302 minutes. It was a dry and positive session for the Porsche Team ahead of the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. 

The six-hour race will get underway on Saturday at 5pm, more than half the distance will be completed in the dark. One lap at COTA is 5.513 kilometres. According to the regulations, the Porsche 919 Hybrid can use a maximum of 3.76 MJ recuperated energy and max 2.8 litres of fuel per lap at this track. In normal race mode (without a safety car) the car needs to be refuelled every 31 laps. However, the weather forecast predicts a hot day with ambient temperatures well over 30 degrees and thunderstorms for Saturday’s race, which might spoil the strategies, but result in extra excitement.

The third free practice session in the morning had also taken place in dry conditions. The crew of car number 14 came fourth (1:50.976 min, 29 laps), while car number 20 was sixth on the time sheets (1:51.828 minutes, 27 laps). 

After qualifying Timo said: “I was only driving this morning in free practice three when I did a long run for the race set-up. We are still suffering a bit from understeer, but getting the data and analysing it is important for us.”

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The Porsche Team, with the two innovative Le Mans Prototypes Porsche 919 Hybrids, enjoyed a smooth first free practice session on Thursday at the beginning of the weekend of the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Austin, Texas (USA). While in the first of the two 90-minute practice sessions the entire job list to prepare for Saturday’s six-hour race was able to be ticked off, the night session was hampered by bad weather. A delay of one hour due to thunder and lightening was followed by a wet session. All the drivers reported poor visibility and, especially early in the session, way too much standing water on the track. Nevertheless, the team stayed focussed and made sure all six drivers got their mandatory three timed laps in the dark. 

The crew of car number 14 covered 40 laps during the first session in bright sunshine in the afternoon, with the fastest lap being 1:53.020 minutes (sixth position). At night they did 20 laps (2:11.248 minutes, eighth position). Car number 20 completed 35 laps in the afternoon (1:51.919 minutes, third position) and 16 laps at night (2:07.342 minutes, fifth position) after a problem with a cooling pump had to be fixed.

"COTA is a nice circuit and really fun to drive," said Timo after practice. "In the first session we were able to check quite a lot of things and found ways to improve. From my point of view, we had a good start to the weekend, while, of course, there is still some work to do. In the wet it was important to get a feeling for the traction control and brake balance in the wet."

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Next Events

12.10.2014    6h Fuji (J)

02.11.2014    6h Shanghai (CN)

15.11.2014    6h Bahrain (BAH)

30.11.2014    6h Sao Paulo (BR)

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