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After a year-long development period, the Porsche GT Team returns to the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC as a factory squad with the new Porsche 911 RSR. The newly developed 510 hp race car from Weissach takes up the season-opening race on Sunday from the fourth grid row. In the qualifying on the storied Grand Prix racetrack in the British Midlands, where the main focus was clearly on preparing for the race, Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) planted their 911 RSR (#91) on the seventh grid spot. Their works driver colleagues Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France) set the eighth quickest time in the number 92 car.

Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) tackles his first WEC race from the second grid row of the GTE-Am class. Starting from the third grid spot, he shares the 911 RSR fielded by the customer team Dempsey Proton Racing with Christian Ried (Germany) and Marvin Dienst (Germany).

Qualifying quotes
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “With an eye on the tyres, we implemented a very conservative strategy in this qualifying session. The fact that we’re only permitted four sets of tyres per race this season instead of six made this issue even more important. The result is about what we expected. We will continue to focus on the race.”
Richard Lietz (911 RSR #91): “In my first lap the balance wasn’t quite right. I had more grip in the second lap, but I made a little mistake. I think we have good tyres for the race. Despite everything, this makes me confident for the race.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (911 RSR #91): “We’re not yet where we’d like to be. We saw this in the qualifying. But if things run perfectly for us in the race then I think, in spite of everything, a podium result would be possible.”
Michael Christensen (911 RSR #92): “The 911 RSR felt good. We reserved a set of tyres for the race, so we really only had one chance at a fast qualifying lap.”
Kévin Estre (911 RSR #92): “As expected, the qualifying was difficult. We concentrated totally on the race in our preparations, so the performance on a qualifying lap was, of course, not outstanding. However, I believe that we’ve chosen the right strategy.”

Qualifying result
GTE-Pro class
1. Priaulx/Tincknell/Derani (GB/GB/BRA), Ford GT, 1:55.858 minutes
2. Rigon/Bird (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE, + 0.809 seconds
3. Thiim/Soerensen/Stanaway (DK/DK/NZ), Aston Martin, + 0.915
4. Mücke/Pla/Johnson (D/F/USA), Ford GT, + 1.067
5. Turner/Adam/Serra (GB/GB/BRA), Aston Martin, + 1.212
6. Calado/Pier Guidi (I/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 1.264
7. Lietz/Makowiecki (A/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.801
8. Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.864

GTE-Am class
1. Dalla Lana/Lamy/Lauda (CAN/P/A), Aston Martin, + 1.59.562 minutes
2. Flohr/Castellacci/Molina (CZE/I/E), Ferrari 488 GTE, + 1.046 seconds
3. Ried/Cairoli/Dienst (D/I/D), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.785
4. Mok/Sawa/Griffin (MYS/J/IRL), Ferrari 488 GTE, + 2.054
5. Wainwright/Barker/Foster (GB/GB/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, + 2.358

Source. Porsche/Photo. John Patterson



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