For most of the past decade, Audi has absolutely dominated the Circuit de la Sarthe, home of the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans, prompting Porsche to return to defend its crown. After last years loss, the Porsche 919 Hybrid has undergone some pretty big changes that are already setting records at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
During this week’s qualifying session, both 919 race cars driven by Neel Jani and Timo Bernhardt set blistering qualifying times at 3:16.887 and 3:17.767, respectively. That beats out the 3:18.4 for the current track configuration, and in the world of WEC racing a two-second faster lap time can really start to add up.
But of course those are just qualifying times. The real test will come this weekend during the 24 Hours of Le Mans as Porsche, Audi, Toyota, and Nissan duke it out for the top spot in the world’s best-known endurance race. Fast qualifying times are great and all, but will that translate into victory when the checkered flag falls?