The 20th pole position for the Porsche 919 Hybrid’s farewell

In the short 20 minute WEC qualifying session it is the average time of the two fastest laps of two drivers that counts. Jani/Tandy (1:39.383 minutes) and Bernhard/Hartley (1:40.011 minutes) were on duty at the Persian Gulf for the final qualifying. The overall fastest lap was achieved by Jani in 1:39.084 minutes. The 919 Hybrid’s impressive tally since its debut back in 2014 reads: 20 pole positions from 34 races with 13 front row lock-outs. Remarkably in the 2015 season when three manufacturers competed in LMP1, only the 919s made it on to the front row.

In the third free practice session on Friday morning in Bahrain, Timo Bernhard topped the time sheets with a lap of 1:42.438 minutes when he was doing a qualifying simulation on used tyres. The sister car, in the hands of Neel Jani and Nick Tandy was second fastest. The respective third drivers of each car, Earl Bamber and André Lotterer, didn’t drive today.

The six-hour race into the Arabian night will start at 16:00 hrs local time on Saturday. Stable ambient conditions of around 25 degrees Celsius are expected to continue.
Race Start NZT: 02:00 Sunday 19th November. 

The Porsche LMP Team after qualifying
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1:
“Achieving a 20th pole-position in our 34th race is simply amazing. I’m overwhelmed just how perfect the team is preparing for the last race with the highest rate of concentration and motivation, despite the fact that we have secured both world championship titles already in Shanghai. Due to the predicted high temperatures for tomorrow, we still have the possibility to finish the last WEC round at the end of our fourth season successfully. Thanks to everybody, I’m very much looking forward to the race.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal:
“Congratulations to the number 1 car crew for pole position. Given how free practice went, we didn’t really expect to be on pole. But Neel got the hammer down on his lap. Everything was spot on and then Nick also managed to improve. For four years we have never had to retire a car in qualifying and achieved really good results. That’s quite a strong team effort. Today we are really pleased with pole position but tomorrow we expect a tough race. The Toyotas were really strong on their long runs. We will fight until the 919 Hybrid’s very last lap.”

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid car number 2:
Brendon Hartley (28, New Zealand):
“We started quite well and I was half a second up on the ‘sister’ car despite the balance being completely wrong on my first lap. After Timo’s run, we decided to save our tyres for the race. It should be a good fight tomorrow.”

Timo Bernhard (36, Germany):
“A tough qualifying. The balance was different to what we had in Free Practice and not 100% perfect. P3 seemed to be the maximum we could achieve today. But congratulations to our ‘sister’ car, it was an awesome lap from Neel. Now we look forward to the race – the battle is on.”

Social media campaign for the farewell: #919tribute
– The nicest farewell wishes from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that use the hashtag #919tribute will be published on the official Porsche homepage and in the LED strip light at the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen.

TV and live streaming:
– The official WEC App can be downloaded free of charge with an extended (not free of charge) version available which includes full live streaming and full timing. The live stream is voiced by the FIA WEC TV team including live interviews from the pits.