COTA is “unfinished business” for Porsche #2, says Lieb

FIA World Endurance Championship points leader Marc Lieb says that Austin’s Circuit of The Americas is “unfinished business” for the #2 Porsche crew after last year’s disastrous result.

COTA is “unfinished business” for Porsche #2, says Lieb
#2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb
#2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb
#2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb; #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team UK Ford GT: Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley; #2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
Podium: Race winners #1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard

Lieb enters the 6 Hours of COTA with a healthy points lead along with teammates Neel Jani and Romain Dumas. This time last year, an electrical failure cost them their title shot, and handed a big advantage to the sister #1 Porsche crew who went on to claim the crown.

“In 2014 and 2015 the 919 Hybrid was very competitive in Texas,” said Lieb. “But in 2015 an electrical problem cost us the race win – and ultimately the chance to fight for the drivers’ title.

“In 2014 we also had a technical problem. Therefore, COTA is unfinished business for us, and this year we want to make it onto the podium.”

Webber aiming for hat-trick

The sister #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid comes into COTA on a roll of two straight victories, at the Nurburgring and Mexico City, following its disastrous start to the season.

Despite that recent success, its failures in the first three races – including the all-important Le Mans 24 Hours – means its crew of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard is still playing catch-up. The car has scored 49.5 fewer points than at the same juncture in 2015.

“Probably we will not be as dominant as in 2015 in Texas, but of course car crew #1 wants to repeat last year’s victory,” said Webber of his chances in the day/night event.

“In Austin, my first experiences were in a Formula 1 car, which is a little bit more agile, especially in the first sector, but the biggest difference is that in a grand prix you don’t have to deal with the permanent traffic of cars to lap.

“The track in Austin is very demanding and a beautiful one for our prototypes. Different to in Mexico City, at COTA the 919 can really open its speed up.

“I also love night racing. Our cars are able to do that and it creates a bit of a Le Mans feeling. COTA can be hard work in several regards. The temperatures are extreme and the weather can be very changeable as well.”

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