Porsche takes up round three of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) from pole position on the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. In the ca. 515 PS 911 RSR, works driver Kévin Estre from France turned the fastest qualifying lap on the high-speed circuit in 1:45.412 minutes. With this third consecutive top qualifying time, the Porsche GT Team celebrates a flawless hat-trick in the GTE-Pro category. Estre shares the car with Neel Jani from Switzerland. At the wheel of the sister car, which followed a different tyre strategy, Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) posted the third quickest time on home turf in 1:45.844 minutes. For the race, he shares the cockpit with Austria’s Richard Lietz. In the GTE-Am class, a 911 RSR fielded by the Project 1 customer team starts from P4. This event marks the first time the FIA World Endurance Championship races on the storied 5.793-kilometre racetrack just outside Milan.
Only ten minutes were available to the WEC teams to qualify. Estre held back on his first flying lap and instead used his second attempt to go for pole. His teammate Bruni drove a 1:46.009-minute lap on his first try and followed up with two more hot laps. Then, at his fourth attempt, he validated the third grid spot in the GTE-Pro class with a time of 1:45.844 minutes.
“From a sporting perspective, we’re of course delighted about our third straight pole position in the current FIA WEC season,” said Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Motorsport. “However, our thoughts are with the people who were badly affected by the disastrous flooding in the Nürburgring region – including many employees and their families of our operations team Manthey, whom we wish the strength they need to get through this difficult time.”
“Third event of the season, third pole position: The reliability of our team’s performance is impressive,” underlines Alexander Stehlig, Head of Operations FIA WEC. “We tackled the weekend with a clear plan and we implemented it systematically during the practice sessions. As a result, we were perfectly prepared to go for top times in the qualifying. First and third on the grid – a great result. We’ll build on this in the race and will try to put a spoke in the wheel of our rivals at Ferrari at their home race.”
In the GTE-Am class, Egidio Perfetti planted the 911 RSR of the Project 1 customer squad on fourth place. The Norwegian turned his fastest lap in 1:48.057 minutes. In the race, he receives support from the Italians Matteo Cairoli and Riccardo Pera. P10 was claimed by the identical vehicle fielded by Dempsey-Proton Racing with team owner Christian Ried at the wheel. The German shares driving duties with Jaxon Evans from New Zealand and the Australian works driver Matt Campbell.
Round three of the World Endurance Championship WEC takes off on Sunday, 18 July 2021, at midday (CEST) and is contested over six hours.
Drivers’ qualifying quotes
Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “It’s a great achievement to qualify ahead of the ‘Reds’ at Monza. It was difficult to predict because Ferrari is enormously strong on this racetrack. I got a bit of a draft at the right moment, the lap was clean and really fast. In the end, I was ahead by a mere six hundredths of a second. It was tight, exciting and, in the end, very good. Nevertheless, our thoughts are with the people in the Eifel region who were badly hit by the catastrophic floods. We know many of those affected, including friends from our team, many fans around the Nürburgring and numerous other squads from the region. We very much hope that the victims of this disaster receive a lot of support from the motorsport community.”
Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “We implemented a different tyre strategy than the crew of the sister car. On this basis, I drove a flawless lap without any mistakes and that was great. Now we have to wait and see how strong our competitors are in the race. We’re prepared for a tough fight.”
Egidio Perfetti (Porsche 911 RSR #56): “On the one hand, I’m very happy to be the fastest 911 RSR driver in the GTE-Am category, but I’m not so thrilled about fourth overall. That was probably because we opted for a conservative approach with medium tyres. I would’ve been faster today with the soft compound. Still, let’s wait and see. I’m optimistic that this choice will prove to be the better one for the early stages of the race.”
Result GTE-Pro class
1. Estre/Jani (F/CH), Porsche 911 RSR #92, 1:45.412 minutes
2. Pier Guidi/Calado (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE #51, 1:45.477 minutes
3. Bruni/Lietz (I/A), Porsche 911 RSR #91, 1:45.844 minutes
4. Serra/Molina (BR/E), Ferrari 488 GTE #71, 1:46.214 minutes
Result GTE-Am class
1. Keating/Pereira/Fraga (USA/L/BR), Aston Martin #33, 1:47.272 minutes
2. Perrodo/Nielsen/Rovera (F/DK/I), Ferrari 488 GTE Evo #83, 1:47.541 minutes
3. Lacorte/Sernagiotto/Fuoco (I/I/I), Ferrari 488 GTE Evo #47, 1:47.950 minutes
4. Perfetti/Cairoli/Pera (N/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR #56, 1:48.057 minutes
10. Ried/Evans/Campbell (D/NZ/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR #77, 1:48.766 minutes
12. Haryanto/Seefried/Picariello (RI/D/B), Porsche 911 RSR #88, 1:49.211 minutes
13. Wainwright/Barker/Gamble (GB/GB/GB), Porsche 911 RSR #86, 1:49.244 minutes
14. Olsen/Buchardt/Root (N/N/USA), Porsche 911 RSR #46, 1:51.051 minutes