On April 17th 2016, Chopard started its third year as the official timing partner of the leading WEC team: Porsche Motorsport. At the Six Hours of Silverstone 2016, the season’s opening round, the two new Porsche 919 Hybrid cars led by Chopard’s ambassadors, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Romain Dumas campaigned again for victory on the renowned circuit of the British Midlands after a very successful year 2015 which ended up with a double title in the pilots’ and constructors’ championship. 30,000 kilometres of testing allowed Porsche to significantly further develop the Porsche 919 Hybrid to fulfil the new WEC 2016 regulations. Porsche began the seasons with strong expectations. The Porsche 919 Hybrid led by Romain Dumas reached the second position in the LMP1 race but finally got the victory thanks to a disqualification of Audi.
The FIA WEC championship started this weekend with a very strong and encouraging beginning during the 6 Hours of Silverstone. After Silverstone racetrack saw rain and snow on the previous days, on Sunday the race start was in bright sunshine with the two 919 Hybrids lining up third and fourth on the grid for the first of nine World Championship rounds.
After a thrilling six hour race, Neel Jani finished second in the Porsche 919 Hybrid N°2 that he shares with Marc Lieb and with the Chopard ambassador, Romain Dumas. Audi’s car, which arrived first, got disqualified and gave the victory to Porsche. By doing the fastest lap of the race, Neel Jani proved the competitiveness of the innovative hybrid race car. Porsche also suffered from a significant accident when the number 1 car of reigning World Champions Timo Bernhard, and Chopard ambassadors, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber crashed after two hours. The pilot walked away unhurt even if he had a spectacular accident.
This race has been very demanding for the brand new Porsche 919 Hybrid. The team learned a lot on the new motor created to defend its constructors’ title. Fritz Enzinger, Vice President of LMP1 at Porsche, summarized the ambitions of the team: “This is a great start to the season. The spectators can look forward to some very exciting racing. In Spa-Francorchamps, we will attack again.”
With a racing history starting in 1947, the Silverstone race track is known for being a historical technical race. Teams consider Silverstone to be one of the fastest circuits on the current calendar. Having been built atop an old airfield, the Silverstone circuit is a technically difficult track, but a favorite amongst drivers. The track is a mixture of high and low speed corners with some long straights, making it physically exhausting for the drivers. Overtaking is notoriously difficult. Silverstone is a race where every second counts to start off the WEC season in the best way.
For the third year, Chopard is proud to be the Official Timing Partner of Porsche Motorsport. Perfectly in line with the spirit of Chopard’s Superfast watch collection, this prestigious partnership is an extension of the company longstanding commitment to automotive sports. In 2014, Chopard became “Official Timing Partner” of Porsche Motorsport for the German racing team’s grand comeback to endurance competition. That same year, to celebrate this exclusive partnership, Chopard launched a new Superfast chronograph inspired by the Porsche 919 Hybrid competing in the World Endurance Championship LMP1 category: the Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Edition.
The Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Edition is entirely in tune with WEC racing. This imposingly sized chronograph with its 45 mm-diameter case and flyback function beats to the pace of a mechanical Chopard 03.05-M calibre, chronometer-certified by the COSC. This engine and its oscillating weight may be admired through a sapphire crystal engraved with the inscription “Official Timing Partner Porsche Motorsport”. Inspired by the new Porsche 919 Hybrid, the stripes on the dial evoke the racing car’s rear diffuser. Likewise, the “919” appearing in a red rectangle inside a 9 o’clock subdial is identical to the number of the Porsche racing cars. Finally, the rubber strap is inspired by slick tyres serving to negotiate bends at extremely high speeds.
This sophisticated and powerful Superfast chronograph proclaims a highly exclusive nature that is a perfect match for the legendary Porsche cars, since the Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Edition from Chopard is produced in a strictly limited 919-piece series.
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-president of Chopard, concluded: “2015 has been amazing for the partnership between Chopard and Porsche Motorsport with incredible results. I had the chance to attend some of the WEC races and we are very proud to be part of the success of Porsche Motorsport in WEC as Official Timing Partner of the team. Chopard ambassadors Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley won the World Champion title and Romain Dumas had a successful season.
Our company shares several values with Porsche such as the quest for performance and excellence. Both in car- and watch-making we all pay attention to the smallest details. We are ready to accompany Porsche Motorsport as official timing partner for a third season in WEC. We believe in the team for reiterating their outstanding series of victories in 2016.”
The FIA World Endurance Championship will continue on 7th May 2016 for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.