Audi claimed victory in the opening round of the 2016 World Endurance Championship at Silverstone.
Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler took a first WEC win for Audi since the Spa round last May by 46 seconds from the #2 Porsche 919 driven by Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb.
A battle that had raged between the winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro and the Porsche for the second half of a race looked set to come down to a thrilling climax.
Fassler was 16s ahead when he made his final full pitstop with just over an hour to go, but Porsche was able to reduce that gap to 6s when Jani took on only two tyres at his pitstop six laps later.
But within three laps Jani had to return to the pits after sustaining a right front puncture.
Jani was back within 10s of the Audi when Fassler came in for a splash-and-dash pitstop with 35 minutes to go, but the Porsche's unscheduled stop had come too early for it to make it to the flag without a final top-up of fuel.
The forced the Porsche back into the pits seven laps before the end of the six-hour race.
Lotterer said: "It is amazing that at this stage of the programme we have been able to win a race.
"We had luck on our side because the #1 Porsche had its accident, but that is part of motorsport."
Jani reckoned that he would have been in a position to fight for the victory but for the puncture.
"I wouldn't want to say that we definitely would have won, but I would have given it everything.
"But we didn't just lose it today with the puncture."
The #2 Porsche also lost time with a nose section that was damaged early in the race and wasn't changed until the fourth hour, as well as a spin.
Porsche and Audi each got one car to the chequered flag.
Mark Webber had built up a clear lead after overtaking the pole-winning Audi with Lotterer at the wheel on lap 17.
Brendon Hartley continued to extend the advantage and was more than 40s ahead of the #2 Porsche just after the two-hour mark when he made contact with the GTE Am class Gulf Racing Porsche.
The Kiwi was overtaking the Porsche with Michael Wainwright at the wheel around the outside of Farm, which resulted in retirement for both cars.
The second Audi driven by Oliver Jarvis and Lucas di Grassi retired early in the third hour before Loic Duval could drive.
A problem with the energy-retrieval system forced di Grassi to turn off the single front-axle motor generator before the car stopped on track with what Audi described as "hybrid malfunction".
Toyota took the final spot on the podium with the new TS050 HYBRID driven by Mike Conway, Stephane Sarrazin and Kamui Kobayashi.
The sister car shared by Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima had been ahead until it sustained a puncture in the fourth hour.
Nakajima had to drive a full lap on the punctured right rear, resulting in a lengthy pitstop and an eventual 17th place.
Rebellion equalled its best WEC result for the R-One chassis thanks to the problems of the factory teams.
Alexandre Imperatori, Matheo Tuscher and Dominik Kraihamer claimed fourth position after enjoying a clean race.
The RGR Sport by Morand squad took honours in LMP2 with its Ligier-Nissan JSP2 driven by Bruno Senna, Filipe Albuquerque and Ricardo Gonzalez.
The Morand car finished half a minute up on the best of the Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier-Nissans driven by Pipo Derani, Ryan Dalziel and Chris Cumming.
Ferrari dominated the GTE Pro class on the way to a one-two result for the AF Corse team led by Sam Bird and Davide Rigon.
Their Ferrari 488 GTE was in front from the start and was barely challenged over the course of the race.
The second-placed Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado came back from a three-minute stop-go penalty for a post-qualifying engine change.
GTE Am was won by the AF Ferrari 458 Italia shared by Emmanuel Collard, Rui Aguas and Francois Perrodo.
RESULTS - 194 LAPS:
|1||LMP1||R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb||Porsche Team||Porsche||6h01m53.028s|
|2||LMP1||S.Sarrazin, M.Conway, K.Kobayashi||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||1 Lap|
|3||LMP1||M.Tuscher, D.Kraihamer, A.Imperatori||Rebellion Racing||Rebellion/AER||11 Laps|
|4||LMP1||N.Prost, N.Piquet Jr., N.Heidfeld||Rebellion Racing||Rebellion/AER||13 Laps|
|5||LMP2||R.Gonzalez, F.Albuquerque, B.Senna||RGR Sport by Morand||Ligier/Nissan||15 Laps|
|6||LMP2||R.Dalziel, P.Derani, C.Cumming||Extreme Speed Motorsports||Ligier/Nissan||15 Laps|
|7||LMP2||R.Rusinov, N.Berthon, R.Rast||G-Drive Racing||ORECA/Nissan||15 Laps|
|8||LMP2||G.Menezes, N.Lapierre, S.Richelmi||Signatech Alpine||Alpine/Nissan||16 Laps|
|9||LMP2||N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane||Strakka Racing||Gibson/Nissan||17 Laps|
|10||LMP2||M.Rao, R.Bradley, R.Merhi||Manor||ORECA/Nissan||17 Laps|
|11||LMP2||D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung, N.Panciatici||Baxi DC Racing Alpine||Alpine/Nissan||18 Laps|
|12||LMP2||V.Petrov, K.Ladygin, V.Shaytar||SMP Racing||BR Engineering/Nissan||18 Laps|
|13||LMP2||S.Sharp, E.Brown, J.van Overbeek||Extreme Speed Motorsports||Ligier/Nissan||19 Laps|
|14||LMP1||S.Trummer, O.Webb, J.Rossiter||ByKOLLES Racing Team||CLM/AER||22 Laps|
|15||LMP2||N.Minassian, M.Mediani||SMP Racing||BR Engineering/Nissan||23 Laps|
|16||LMP1||A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||24 Laps|
|17||GTE Pro||D.Rigon, S.Bird||AF Corse||Ferrari||27 Laps|
|18||GTE Pro||G.Bruni, J.Calado||AF Corse||Ferrari||28 Laps|
|19||GTE Pro||N.Thiim, M.Sorensen, D.Turner||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||28 Laps|
|20||GTE Pro||M.Franchitti, A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell||Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK||Ford||29 Laps|
|21||GTE Pro||B.Johnson, S.Mucke, O.Pla||Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK||Ford||29 Laps|
|22||GTE Am||F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas||AF Corse||Ferrari||31 Laps|
|23||GTE Am||P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||32 Laps|
|24||GTE Am||Y.Yamagishi, P.Ragues, P.Ruberti||Larbre Competition||Chevrolet||33 Laps|
|25||GTE Pro||R.Lietz, M.Christensen||Dempsey-Proton Racing||Porsche||40 Laps|
|26||GTE Am||C.Ried, W.Henzler, J.Camathias||KCMG||Porsche||40 Laps|
|27||GTE Am||K.Al Qubaisi, D.H.Hansson, K.Bachler||Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing||Porsche||41 Laps|
|-||LMP1||M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi||Disqualified|
|-||GTE Pro||R.Stanaway, F.Rees||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||Retirement|
|-||LMP2||T.Graves, W.Stevens, J.Jakes||Manor||ORECA/Nissan||Retirement|
|-||LMP1||T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley||Porsche Team||Porsche||Retirement|
|-||LMP1||L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi||Retirement|
|-||GTE Am||M.Wainwright, A.Carroll, B.Barker||Gulf Racing||Porsche||Retirement|