Australia’s Mark Webber put his Porsche 919 hybrid on pole position for the World Endurance Championship’s 6 Hours of Fuji on Saturday, topping the second Porsche driven by Marc Lieb and Audi’s Benoit Treluyer.
The Porsche LMP1 car, piloted by current drivers’ championship second-place sitters Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, is on pole for the third time in 2015 and is looking for its third-consecutive race victory after wins in Germany and the United States.
“Porsche have done an incredible job in the last 12 months, pace-wise there has been a big step,” said Webber at the post-qualifying news conference.
“Things move fast, it is a credit to the whole organization that we managed to find the performance and lift the bar and put pressure on Audi. We respect them, but we need to put the pressure on them as quickly as possible.”
Bernhard gave Webber prime qualifying position by setting the fastest time in practice, but he said it has been difficult to get the team to this point and that Webber played a big role in the process.
“I call Mark — not only from my experience this year, but also last year — Mr. Fuji. He comes to this place and teaches all the other Porsche drivers how to drive this track,” said Bernhard.
“It’s again a pole for Porsche, but it was much harder earned this time, Audi gave us a hard time. We are quite happy to be on the front row again, but the difference is very marginal.
“The most important thing was scoring the point (the pole sitter is awarded one championship point) to get us closer to the number 7 Audi.”
Lieb, who is partnered by Romain Dumas and Neel Jani, locked up second for Porsche while drivers’ championship leaders Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer set a time 0.319 seconds back from Webber’s Porsche and will start from third in LMP1.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.