The Porsche Team with its two Le Mans Prototypes enjoyed a strong first day of practice at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Porsche 919 Hybrids covered 219 laps in total on day one on the 4.309 kilometre long track, with car number 20 setting the best time of the day with a lap time of 1:18.349 minutes in the afternoon session. The sister number 14 car followed in second with a fastest lap of 1:18.440 minutes.
In the first of the two 90-minute free practice sessions car number 20 topped the time sheets (1:19.172 min) with car number 14 in second (1:19.511 min).
The race in Sao Paulo is the eighth and final round of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship. Qualifying will be held on Saturday afternoon at 15:20 hrs local time, and the six-hour race will start on Sunday at 13:00 hrs local time.
Quotes after free practice:
Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1: “With its new surface the track has got a very high grip level. This suits our car well and so we have a very good balance. Furthermore, we tried an improved hybrid strategy for the first time in free practice one. It worked well and, therefore, we will be using it in the race. Plus we did a tyre comparison and also learnt a lot from this. We are happy, as everything is running smoothly.”
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 20:
Brendon Hartley (25, New Zealand): “It was a very, very good first day. The car is performing the best it has ever done, and the team did a great job in preparing everything. We’ve had zero issues and have been in the right window for fine-tuning quicker than ever before on a Friday. There was almost nothing to sort out and we were able to focus on long runs for the race preparation. Interlagos is love at first sight to me – a true driver’s track.“
Timo Bernhard (33, Germany): “It’s my first time here and, therefore, I used the first outing to familiarise myself with the track. This old-school circuit is really exciting. The race will be demanding for us drivers. It will be especially difficult to lap other cars in the tight infield.”
Mark Webber (38, Australia): ”A pretty positive day for us with the car running very smoothly. We got through the whole programme. It was good the rain stayed away with just a little bit at the end of FP2. The team did a great job and all us drivers are comfortable with the track. We have a great chance to fight very hard this weekend for a good podium. Our long run was the most encouraging of the year. It looks like the new asphalt is good for us – perhaps we need to have that surface on every track in the world.”