Porsche steps up WEC campaign with crucial test

The #20 Porsche 919 undergoing a searching test at Paul Ricard

The #20 Porsche 919 undergoing a searching test at Paul Ricard

The long awaited return of Porsche to LMP1 competition moved into overdrive with the first test of its twin 919 Hybrids at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.

Both cars logged almost 4800km in a three-day test ahead of the World Endurance Championship’s official series test at the same circuit.

With the opening round of the eight-round series scheduled for Silverstone on April 20, Porsche is in the final phases of preparations.

Porsche encountered reliability issues during the searching tests which involved Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley in the #20 Hybrid and Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb in the #14.

Running in what is close to final livery, the Porsches clocked 4756km at the 5.791km circuit.

Porsche disclosed that the runs were hampered several times with technical problems although it ploughed through a mountain of work including pit stops and night running.

“For the first time we were running two cars at the same time, which was demanding in terms of logistics and team coordination,” team principal Andreas Seidl said.

“The other target was to simulate a race weekend in order to prepare for the two six-hours races that are coming up.

“This was a very important experience for us.

“The test taught us that we have to improve in terms of reliability.

“With regards to the way the crew and drivers worked together as a team, we are going in the right direction.”

Seidl said it would use the up coming prologue tests at Paul Ricard to fine tune the car’s set-up and simulate race processes.

2014 WEC calendar

1 April 20 Silverstone
2 May 3 Spa-Francorchamps
3 June 15 Le Mans 24 Hour
4 September 20 Circuit of the Americas
5 October 12 Fuji
6 November 2 Shanghai
7 November 15 Bahrain
8 November 30 Sao Paulo

*Stick with Speedcafe.com for coverage of Mark Webber’s foray into the WEC and return to Le Mans this year after a 15-year absence 


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