FIA WEC: Porsche Secures Manufacturers' Title With 1-2 Win At Shanghai
Photo: Nick Dungan - AdrenalMedia.com

FIA WEC: Porsche Secures Manufacturers' Title With 1-2 Win At Shanghai

Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, and Brendon Hartley won the Six Hours of Shanghai ahead of their Porsche teammates Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, and Marc Lieb. The result secured the manufacturers' championship for Porsche.

kalle-tyynela
Kalle Tyynelä

The Six Hours of Shanghai started in wet conditions. For that reason, the race was started behind the safety car. After four laps behind the safety car, the race got its start under green condition. Marc Lieb of the qualifying's second-placed No. 18 Porsche Team car immediately overtook the polesitter Brendon Hartley of the No. 17 Porsche into the first corner. Hartley claimed back the lead at the Turn 7 of the first lap, while Lieb got hit by André Lotterer of the No. 7 Audi Sport Team Joest entry, and spun and fell behind the field of cars.

Another incident on the first lap under green was Nick Tandy spinning the No. 47 KCMG Oreca-Nissan and getting stuck in gravel. Following these incidents, the safety car was deployed. The safety car period allowed Lieb to catch the pack whereas the KCMG Oreca got lapped and had a tough race ahead to get a good result from a lap down.

Once the safety car period came to a close, the race continued in the No. 17 Porsche's command. The two Audis followed the No. 17 Porsche but couldn't match its pace. Meanwhile, the No. 18 Porsche was progressing through the field.

After an hour and a half into the race, the rain got heavier causing many spins and subsequent full-course yellow periods. During one of these full-course yellows, the No. 8 Audi that had pitted earlier managed narrowly to take the lead from the pitted No. 17 Porsche. The heavier rain suited Audi and soon also the No. 7 Audi overtook the No. 17 Porsche for second place, before the Audis swapped positions in the lead and No. 7 led the race.

Meanwhile, the No. 18 Porsche had recovered to fourth place after its early spin and it passed the No. 17 sister car for third place. The No. 8 Audi didn't have the pace to stay ahead the Porsches, and soon after also the No. 7 Audi had to let the Porsches past on the drying track.

Since then the race was led by Porsches, with No. 17 passing the No. 18 for lead. After four and a half hours, Romain Dumas of the No. 18 Porsche had a spin at Turn 1, costing over 30 seconds. As a consequence, the No. 18 car was in fourth place behind the Audis when everybody had one stop remaining. While the Audis pitted for fuel and new tires, the No. 18 Porsche had a late and short stop for fuel only, allowing it to exit the pits in seconds place ahead of the Audis.

A late full-course yellow for a crash by Mathias Beche of the No. 12 Rebellion Racing entry cost time for André Lotterer in the No. 7 Audi to catch Romain Dumas in the No. 18 Porsche with older tires. Still he couldn't catch Dumas even once the race was back on green. Despite the crash, the No. 12 Rebellion could return to pits and rejoin the race ahead of the No. 4 Team Bykolles entry, winning the private LMP1 classification and the FIA Endurance Trophy for private LMP1 teams.

In the end, the No. 17 Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, and Brendon Hartley won the race ahead of the No. 18 sister car of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, and Marc Lieb. The result secured the manufacturers' championship for Porsche.

LMP2

The last minute of the race had drama when Ricardo Gonzalez spun the No. 28 G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan from third place in the LMP2 class. The No. 36 Signatech Alpine entry won the class while the favorites G-Drive Racing and KCMG had difficulties in the race.

Not a full-season entry, the No. 29 Pegasus Racing Morgan-Nissan was leading in the rainy conditions in the middle parts of the race with its superior Michelin wet tires as opposed to other cars' Dunlop tires, though eventually it finished only fifth in the class.

Both G-Drive entries were given drive-through penalties during the race. The championship-leading No. 26 was penalized for not respecting full-course yellow speed whereas the No. 28 was penalized for causing a collision. The No. 26 finished the race second whereas the No. 28's race ended on the last minute with Gonzalez's spin.

The KCMG Oreca lost a lap following its early spin, though it was able to proceed to third place. Still the gap to the leading No. 26 G-Drive entry in points increased to 16 points.

GTE-Pro & Am

Fourth in yesterday's qualifying, the No. 91 Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSR made it to the lead of the GTE-Pro class during the first hour and led most of the race since then. The polesitter, No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari was second, 45 second behind, and the No. 92 Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSR was third.

The No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari won the GTE-Am class, despite a drive-through penalty for pit lane infringement. The polesitter, No. 98 Aston Martin Racing car was second, 41 seconds behind.


The FIA World Endurance Championship finishes with the Six Hours of Bahrain on November 19-21.

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