Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#6), Kevin Estre (F), Andre Lotterer (D), Laurens Vanthoor (B)
Porsche Penske Motorsport qualifies in the middle of the pack
The pair of Porsche 963 struggle for grip in the Hypercar class
The team sets sights to improve overall speed ahead of its debut WEC race
In the opening round of the 2023 World Endurance Championship – the 1000 Miles of Sebring – Porsche Penske Motorsport has qualified in sixth with car #6 and in seventh with car #5. A lack of outright speed hampered the WEC squad’s qualifying session ahead of its debut race.
Porsche Penske Motorsport’s pair of FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Porsche 963 took to the track competitively for the first time this week as the newly-formed team began the WEC crew’s competitive debut. Despite a huge improvement in the three practice sessions, when the lap times counted, the cars lacked the pace to compete for positions inside the top-five.
Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport said: “So, we’ve completed the first World Endurance Championship qualifying for Porsche Penske Motorsport. Obviously, as you can see from the timing screens, we lacked a bit of pace today. We need to go away now and do our homework to see where we can improve. On a positive note, execution by the team was good and our race pace is looking better than our qualifying pace. As the saying goes, ‘it’s a long race’ so we’ll have to focus on strategy, reliability and consistency and see where we end up.”
Kévin Estre (F) in car #6 was in the quicker of the two Porsche 963, but only by 0.017 seconds. His time of 1:47.193 min. puts him and team-mates Andre Lotterer (D) and Laurens Vanthoor (B) in sixth place for the start of the 1000 Miles of Sebring.
The #5 sister car was piloted in the 15-minute qualifying session by Michael Christensen (DK). He recorded a time of 1:47.210 min., placing him, Dane Cameron (USA) and Frédéric Makowiecki (F) on the fourth row of the grid in their debut race together. Following the session, the team’s hopes of a strong debut race result remain hopeful with 1000 miles of racing ahead.
The 1000 Miles of Sebring takes place on Friday 17 March at 12:00 on the historic Sebring International Raceway.
Qualifying Driver Quotes
Michael Christensen (Porsche 963 #5): “It was the first qualifying in the Hypercar class and we’re not where we want to be. We’re quite a long way off the pace so we need to understand why. The car didn’t feel too bad so we just need to keep moving and remember that it’s a long race.”
Kevin Estre (Porsche 963 #6): “We didn’t make any mistakes and although the car wasn’t fantastic it was pretty good with the package we have so far this weekend. I didn’t do the perfect lap but it definitely wasn’t a bad one so we need to analyse where we are losing that much time – it’s difficult for me to say right now. Inside the car it didn’t feel terrible and it was quite a lot faster that any lap we’ve done so far the week. So we need to find out where we’re losing time. Qualifying pace and race pace is different but the others have the upper hand that’s clear.”
Team communication Porsche Penske Motorsport
FIA World Endurance Championship WEC: Rebecca Jones
mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – mobile: +44 7866 701161