Le Man 24 Hour winners Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard are back in action this weekend as the Porsche LMP Team enters its home race at the Nürburgring on 16 July.
“It’s been a crazy but good couple of weeks after Le Mans and the result has just about sunk in,” commented Hartley. “We have since tested our high downforce kit and the focus now moves on to the remaining World Championship races.
“We have won the Nürburgring race for the last two years and Earl and I are lucky to have ‘Mr. Nürburgring’ himself as a teammate. Everyone at Porsche has been working hard to get the new aero kit ready for the Nürburgring race. A victory on home soil would be the icing on the cake after Le Mans. I’m looking forward to another big fight!”
“The situation could hardly be any nicer”, Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1, happily confirms. “The Le Mans 24-Hours was endurance racing full of highs and lows. In the Eifel mountains we target a clean six-hour race and we certainly would love to win there for a third consecutive time as well. Our new aerodynamics package for higher downforce worked well at a recent test. Now our mission of defending both the World Championship titles, for manufacturers and drivers, is in full swing.”
Following three of nine rounds in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and after collecting double points at Le Mans, Porsche now leads the manufacturers’ standings on 111 points, 32.5 points ahead of Toyota (78.5 points). In the drivers’ championship, Le Mans winners Earl Bamber (NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) have scored 83 points giving them a 17 points lead over the best placed Toyota trio. Reigning World Champion Neel Jani (CH) and his partners André Lotterer (DE) and Nick Tandy (GB) retired at Le Mans having led the race for over 10 hours and currently rank in fifth position (28 points).
Despite a deeply disappointing Le Mans 24 Hours last month, the GAZOO Toyota Racing team remains in a close fight with Porsche for both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ World Championships and is targeting a return to winning form at the Nürburgring.
TOYOTA trails by 32.5 points in the manufacturers’ standings, while the #8 TS050 HYBRID crew of Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima are second in the drivers’ championship, 17 points behind, after winning two of the three races so far.
The 29-car WEC field is divided into four classes for prototypes and GT sports cars. The six-hour race gets underway on Sunday 13:00 hrs. It can be followed live on the internet and TV from all over the world.