Image credit: Porsche AG

Image credit: Porsche AG.

We keep telling you things are so close between the LMP1 front runners of Audi and Porsche, but it is always good to be able to empirically prove the point.  To this end we have studied the data from the Free Practice 3 session, and it is quite revealing, see the summary table below – 


From this we can highlight a number of points – 

  • Mark Webber has lost none of his appetite for speed. Over 8 laps he delivers an average (1:25.096) almost a whole second quicker than everyone else
  • #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid is able to average 4-tenths a lap quicker than any other car, and given a clean start, and a 37+ lap initial stint we may see it 15+seconds clear by the first scheduled pit stops
  • Although 2nd on the grid, #18 Porsche 919 of Lieb/Dumas/Jani is slower than the #7 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro of Treluyer/Lotterer/Fassler by 52-thousandths of a second – That is Close!
  • Indeed the self-confessed brothers since 2003 of Treluyer and Lotterer set averages within 4-hundreths of each other, consider yourselves twinned!
So there appears to be a battle set to ensue at 03:00 UK Sunday morning! But lets just take this one tiny step further.  If we drill further into the individual laps we find one in Romain Dumas (a seemingly weak link in the #18 driver line-up?) data, a 1:27.135, still stunningly quick. Now if that was a missed apex or even a moments lift for traffic and we discount it (say it was a cost of 6-tenths to a more typical 26.5…) what it the impact? 
Well the pendulum swings the other way! So 6-tenths on one lap out of 15 laps is sufficient to move the average to 50-thousandths in favour of the #18 over the #7… Now that is closer than close!
So, with showers in the forecast and close competition in every category, if you enjoy fast Motorsport, top class racing mixed with strategy and external variables your best bet this Sunday will once again be 6-hours viewing the FIA World Endurance Championship from the historic Fuji Speedway. LIVE – You know you want to!
On last comment, we know the #8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro had a gearbox replaced prior to qualifying, hence its times above may have been compromised. There is no reason that its crew will not come and join the party at the front too!!
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