NÜRBURGRING – Porsche LMP1 driver Marc Lieb believes that the team is entering the second half of the FIA World Endurance Championship in high spirits following its success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Porsche claimed its first overall victory at Le Mans since 1998 as the no. 19 car of Nico Hülkenberg, Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy headed up a one-two finish for the German marque.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s 6 Hours of Nürburgring in his native Germany, Lieb spoke about the new high downforce package that has been fitted to the Porsche 919 Hybrid cars for the race.
“It looks a little bit different from the outside,” Lieb said. “It’s a big change. Obviously the track conditions weren’t as good as in the test days in the first session [which was largely wet], but everyone is pushing forwards in one direction.
“In the team, everyone is really pumped up after the success at Le Mans. So it’s obviously giving everything a lot of confidence. It’s great to see the work which has been done after Le Mans.
“I think it’s a good step and should bring us a little bit closer to the competitors. I think we’re in good shape for the weekend, but it’s a six hour race, and temperatures will increase for Sunday, so this will be the question mark for tire wear. But I can’t wait to go out and race.”
Audi has also changed its aero kit for the forthcoming weekend, reverting back to the package that it used for the 6 Hours of Spa in June.
Championship leader Marcel Fassler spoke about how Audi has been working to improve its car following its defeat at Le Mans to Porsche.
“Yes for sure after Le Mans, we were working a little bit,” Fassler said. “But obviously from the outside you can’t see it as much as for example with Porsche, the aerodynamics they have.
“Sure, we try to develop things to be prepared for the big fight now to the end of the season. There are still five races to go.
“We’re leading by 22 points or something. It’s at least something, but the races are long and our opponents are really good and fast so we need to score points, that’s the main point, and try to be in front of our competitors all the time. It sounds an easy thing to do, but we’ll try to do it.”