The #1 Porsche will start from third on the grid for tomorrow’s six hours of Silverstone. However Nick Tandy has noted that tyre wear will be the limiting factor in the race. We caught up with him to get his thoughts ahead of his first home race in LMP1 with Porsche.
Porsche were not as close as they would have hoped to have been to pole position after qualifying, with the gap over a second between pole and their fastest 919 Hybrid. However Porsche have been focusing on long runs in practice. Nick Tandy explained, “You’ve basically only got one set of tyres per practice session.” This meant to get the most out of their tyre allocation, Porsche had been focusing on long runs and not flying laps.
“In Monza they (Toyota), did a lot of qualifying simulation work.” The Brit continued, “…on the course of this week’s practice its the first time we’ve really gone out and tried to do a fast flying lap… we didn’t expect to be in front but we didn’t expect to be so far behind.”, Said Tandy.
Tandy went on to explain how this morning’s weather impacted on Porsche’s qualifying preparation. He told us, “We were looking to do a qualifying simulation this morning but it was a damp track”. Despite not being as quick in qualifying as was hoped, Tandy added, “We looked a lot happier on pace against Toyota in yesterday afternoon’s run.”, where Porsche focused on long runs with Andre Lotterer and Earl Bamber in their cars.
With new rules pointing towards teams having to double stint tyres, Tandy told us that tyres are the key to a good race. “Tyre wear is high. Especially the front left tyre takes a lot of abuse around here.” Tandy continued, “That will be the limiting factor. Looking after the front tyres in a double stint is huge around here.”
The other question looming over Silverstone this weekend is the weather. However Porsche think we are set for a dry race. Tandy said, “It looks pretty dry according to us.” However the 2015 Le Mans winner added, “You’ve only got to get a bit of wind up tomorrow morning and anything can blow in from anywhere.”
“A clean race in the dry and we might see the race string out a bit so we’re hoping for something a little bit different to a standard race whether it be rain or something with the strategy. Maybe some cars can’t double stint tyres, so lets see.”, said Tandy.
In terms of wet running in the new car, Tandy told us that there had not been much testing. “This year alone we’ve just done Monza night practice session so not much at all. You have to set the cars up for the dry and deal with it when the rain comes and put wet tyres on. Find out how Tandy and his team mates get on in the race tomorrow from midday.
Images: WEC-Magazin – James Clarke, Ton Kerdijk and Walter Schruff
Interview: James Clarke.