WEC 2017 - USA - A positive debut for MICHELIN's new ‘HARD+’ slick in LM P1
The 2017 6 Hours of COTA in Austin, Texas, USA, saw Porsche LMP Team collect another one-two finish and its fourth straight FIA World Endurance Championship victory thanks once again to the N°2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Bernhard/Hartley/Bamber who have pulled out an assertive lead in the provisional Drivers’ standings.
Meanwhile, second place for Lotterer/Tandy/Jani in the N°1 sister prototype has extended the German make’s own cushion at the top of the Manufacturers’ table and Toyota Gazoo Racing will now need to earn perfect scores in the remaining races to keep its title chances alive. The sunny conditions resulted in temperatures in excess of 30°C throughout, while the track temperature stood at more than 40°C. Toyota Gazoo Racing showed competitive form in the searing heat, particularly during the early stages when the two TS050-Hybrids succeeded in taking the battle to the German prototypes.
As usual, tire strategy played a key role at the Circuit of the Americas and, since the air temperature exceeded 34°C when the race started, Race Control applied the rule that limits drivers to no more than 80 minutes at a time behind the wheel in hot conditions, making consecutive stints in the car impossible. The teams were consequently forced to come up with game plans that took this constraint into account.