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More woes for Hartley's Porsche team

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/05/2016

Brendon Hartley of New Zealand and Porsche Team 919 Hybrid © Ker Robertson/Getty Images Brendon Hartley of New Zealand and Porsche Team 919 Hybrid New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley's Porsche team have struck another speed bump in the defence of their World Endurance Championship title.

Twin punctures created a problems throughout the second-round race, the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, with Hartley's car eventually crossing in 27th place. They were more than 48 laps behind the winning Audi combination.

The result follows the spectacular crash suffered by Hartley in the first round at Silverstone in April, leaving him and teammates Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber well off the pace in the nine-leg series.

The Porsche Team 919 Hybrid of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard drives during the FIA World Endurance Championship Six Hours of Silverstone in April © Ker Robertson/Getty Images The Porsche Team 919 Hybrid of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard drives during the FIA World Endurance Championship Six Hours of Silverstone in April

The trio had qualified fastest in Belgium and led after Hartley's opening stint but a puncture while German Bernhard was driving caused damage to the chassis. That damage was the cause of a second puncture for Australian Webber, followed by a long period in the pits.

The trio, who won last year's title in the No.1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, will seek to resurrect their hopes in the third round, the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 18-19.

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