The Le Mans 24-hour race started at very high speed. Three hours into the race and after several position changes, the two Porsche 919 Hybrids are running third and fourth behind Toyota. At 6pm, after 50 laps on the 13.629 kilometre track, the best placed 919 is 35 seconds behind the leader. Porsche lost more than 20 seconds per car during so called “slow zones”. Neel Jani (CH, car number 1) as well as Timo Bernhard (DE, car number 2) did three stints each – two stops for refuelling – with the first set of tyres.
How the race goes for car number 1:
On lap one, moments after the race start, Neel Jani overtakes the Toyota no. 8 and improves to second position. Jani refuels after 13 laps and continues in third position behind the Toyotas no. 8 and 7. After 26 laps he refuels again. Still in P3, after 39 laps, the first tyre change is due and Nick Tandy (GB) takes over.
How the race goes for car number 2:
Timo Bernhard starts fourth on the grid and keeps this position. He refuels after 12 and after 25 laps. At the end of lap 38 he hands over to Earl Bamber and the New Zealander continues on fresh tyres in P4.
Neel Jani (33, Switzerland): “I had a good start and moved up to second position. But then we lost a lot of time in the slow zones. I just hope we don’t have one again in the fast Porsche corners section.”
Timo Bernhard (36, Germany): “It is a very tight race. Especially on my second of three stints, I lost a lot of time in traffic, but we’re on a good pace.”