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Seidl Happy With Porsche’s “Step Forward” From Test Day

Porsche LMP1 chief Seidl encouraged by Wednesday display…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche LMP1 chief Andreas Seidl believes that the team made a “step forward” during Wednesday’s practice and first qualifying sessions for the 24 Hours of Le Mans after cutting the gap to Toyota at the front of the pack.

Toyota locked out the top three positions during the test day at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 4th, while Porsche finished over three seconds off the pace, sparking concerns about its competitiveness heading into race week.

Porsche hit back on Wednesday by topping practice and finishing within a second of the top time in the opening stage of qualifying, comfortably beating its test day time.

Seidl was happy with the progress that Porsche had made through the sessions, but remained wary of Toyota’s showing, given the Japanese marque lapped slower than its own best test day time.

“Yes, we definitely made a step forward compared to the pre-test,” Seidl said.

“We still have to look at what Toyota was doing yesterday and what still will come. They were not improving compared to the pre-test.

“I think all the categories were improving yesterday compared to the pre-test, so we have to see what it really means.”

While Porsche remains the underdog heading into the final two legs of qualifying on Thursday night in Le Mans, Seidl has great confidence in the Porsche 919 Hybrid car when it comes to the all-important race over the weekend.

“We’re convinced we have a good race car, a consistent race car with what we have seen at testing also,” Seidl said.

“We might benefit also from the experience we have with the low downforce package because we used it in the first two races at all the testing, so we could sort out a lot of little issues also on this package. Hopefully that pays off on Saturday, Sunday.

“The most important thing is that you have a car that is performing on a high level from Sunday morning onwards. So we have to see.

“But we will fight to the last second.”

Luke Smith is a British motorsport journalist who has served as NBC Sports’ lead Formula 1 writer since 2013, as well as working on its online sports car coverage.

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