#2 Porsche wins Austin WEC after more team orders

Porsche drivers Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber claimed a fourth straight World Endurance Championship victory at Austin

#2 Porsche wins Austin WEC after more team orders

Bamber took the lead with just eight minutes of the six-hour race to go when Nick Tandy slowed and moved over in another display of team orders from Porsche in favour of its championship-leading trio.

Tandy, Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer had the edge on their team-mates around the Circuit of the Americas on a day that Toyota kept the German cars honest, at least for the opening half of the race.

Tandy moved over to let Bamber past for a first time with just over one hour to go, only to retake the lead when the #1 car needed less fuel at its final splash-and-dash pitstop.

He extended a narrow lead to more than 10 seconds before backing off and then trailing the sister car across the line by just two tenths of a second.

Toyota led the race after the first round of pitstops after its pair of TS050 HYBRIDs double stinted their tyres.

The Toyotas remained within striking range through a mid-race safety car, though they ultimately didn't have the pace to challenge Porsche over the final third of the race.

Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Stephane Sarrazin ended up third, just over 20s behind the winner.

Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway were a similar margin back in fourth.

Reigning LMP2 champion team Signatech Alpine finally chalked up its first class victory of the season despite a late-race scare.

Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Andre Negrao dominated on the way to a 20s victory aboard their Alpine-badged ORECA-Gibson 07.

They had been nearly a minute up until stopping to change the rear bodywork to rectify faulty brake lights with minutes to go.

The LMP2 podium was completed by the two Rebellion ORECAs.

Nelson Piquet Jr, Mathias Beche and David Heinemeier Hansson took second, while Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost and Julien Canal were third just 3s in areas after losing 20s in the pits.

James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi held on to take GTE Pro honours for the AF Corse team despite twice losing a lead of more than half a minute.

They lost their advantage with the safety car only to rebuild it before a late-race rear puncture brought Pier Guidi into the pits.

The Italian rejoined right in front of the second-place Porsche of Michael Christensen, but Pier Guidi pulled away to a five-second victory over the 911 RSR the Dane shared with Kevin Estre.

Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy came back from an early delay to notch up their second GTE Am win of the season for Aston Martin Racing.

Dalla Lana needed a short trip into the garage to repair rear-end damage after he was hit by Francesco Castellacci the AF Corse-run Spirit of Race Ferrari.

Race result

Pos Class Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 LMP1 T.Bernhard, E.Bamber, B.Hartley Porsche LMP Team Porsche 192 6h00m52.444s
2 LMP1 N.Jani, A.Lotterer, N.Tandy Porsche LMP Team Porsche 192 0.276s
3 LMP1 S.Buemi, S.Sarrazin, K.Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 192 21.956s
4 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 192 45.026s
5 LMP2 N.Lapierre, G.Menezes, A.Negrao Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine/Gibson 177 15 Laps
6 LMP2 M.Beche, D.H.Hansson, N.Piquet Jr. Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 176 16 Laps
7 LMP2 J.Canal, N.Prost, B.Senna Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 176 16 Laps
8 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, O.Jarvis, T.Laurent Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 176 16 Laps
9 LMP2 D.Cheng, A.Brundle, T.Gommendy Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 175 17 Laps
10 LMP2 M.Rao, B.Hanley, J-E.Vergne CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA/Gibson 175 17 Laps
11 LMP2 F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, E.Collard TDS Racing ORECA/Gibson 174 18 Laps
12 LMP2 R.Rusinov, P.Thiriet, A.Lynn G-Drive Racing ORECA/Gibson 168 24 Laps
13 GTE Pro J.Calado, A.P.Guidi AF Corse Ferrari 167 25 Laps
14 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre Porsche GT Team Porsche 167 25 Laps
15 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 167 25 Laps
16 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 167 25 Laps
17 GTE Pro D.Turner, J.Adam, D.Serra Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 167 25 Laps
18 GTE Pro R.Lietz, F.Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 166 26 Laps
19 GTE Pro A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 166 26 Laps
20 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 166 26 Laps
21 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 162 30 Laps
22 GTE Am Mok W.S., K.Sawa, M.Griffin Clearwater Racing Ferrari 162 30 Laps
23 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, M.Molina Spirit of Race Ferrari 159 33 Laps
24 GTE Am C.Ried, M.Cairoli, M.Dienst Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 148 44 Laps
- GTE Am M.Wainwright, B.Barker, N.Foster Gulf Racing Porsche 92 Retirement
- LMP2 R.Gonzalez, S.Trummer, V.Petrov CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA/Gibson 51 Retirement

Leading drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Timo Bernhard 159
1 Brendon Hartley 159
1 Earl Bamber 159
2 Sebastien Buemi 108
2 Kazuki Nakajima 108
3 Anthony Davidson 93
4 Neel Jani 83
4 Andre Lotterer 83
4 Nick Tandy 83
5 Ho-Pin Tung 64.5
5 Oliver Jarvis 64.5
5 Thomas Laurent 64.5
6 Mike Conway 60.5
6 Kamui Kobayashi 60.5

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