Austin WEC: Audi denies Toyota in dramatic race

Audi claimed a one-two victory in a dramatic World Endurance Championship encounter at Austin

Austin WEC: Audi denies Toyota in dramatic race

Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler took the honours in the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro ahead of team-mates Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen and Lucas di Grassi at the end of a six-hour race that was stopped for 50 minutes courtesy of heavy rain.

Audi benefited from problems encountered by faster rival Toyota when the rain came during the second hour, and then managed to overcome a challenge from Porsche in the middle of the race to secure the victory.

"It was a real team effort today," said Lotterer.

"We didn't have the fastest car, but everyone involved made the right decisions."

The #2 car ultimately prevailed over the #1 car courtesy of a tyre call when Treluyer and Kristensen climbed aboard their respective mounts on a drying track in the third hour.

Treluyer was given Michelin's ungrooved intermediate 'hybrid' tyre, while Kristensen continued on the wet.

Neel Jani used the hybrid tyre on the #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid from the restart and was able to lead the race on two occasions on the same set of rubber.

The Porsche, which was started by Romain Dumas, looked like it would be in with a shout for victory given that the #1 car would need to make a late stop for a splash of fuel, but Fassler was able to eke out enough of an advantage even before Marc Lieb suffered a loss of power in the closing stages.

Toyota salvaged third place from round four of the WEC thanks to a stirring fightback from Sebastien Buemi at the wheel of the #8 TS040 HYBRID.

Buemi dominated the opening stages of the race and handed over to Lapierre with a lead of nearly 30 seconds despite a quick spin during his stint.

The Frenchman was caught out by the heavy rain shower and beached the Toyota in the gravel at Turn 12 before the red flag came out, with the loss of a lap.

Lapierre, who also used the hybrid tyre, began a comeback that was continued by Anthony Davidson before Buemi returned to the cockpit of the car.

He overhauled the ailing Porsche and came within 10s of catching the #1 Audi for second.

The Chinese KCMG squad claimed a first LMP2 victory with its ORECA-Nissan 03R shared by Richard Bradley, Matt Howson and Tsugio Matsuda.

The trio lost time with the race stoppage when all the cars that were in the pits when the red flags came out were held at the end of the pitlane for a lap.

Matsuda was able to overhaul the SMP ORECA shared by Nicolas Minassian, Maurizio Mediani and Sergey Zlobin in the closing stages despite a time-consuming spin.

ASTON WINS GT CLASSES

Stefan Mucke and Darren Turner were made to work hard for victory in GTE Pro aboard their Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

Mucke led from the start and built up a lead of six seconds ahead of Gianmaria Bruni's AF Corse Ferrari, before a quicker first pitstop by the Italian team got Toni Vilander out in front of Turner.

Turner fought back to take the lead, but lost out in the wet conditions after the restart to the two factory Manthey Porsches.

The Aston was able to reassert its advantage when the track finally dried, Turner taking over at the front and pushing on to claim a nine-second victory from Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki.

Aston Martin also took victory in GTE Am with Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana and Christoffer Nygaard.

They came back after being held in the pitlane, Lamy overhauling the Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR with Christian Ried at the wheel and then holding off a late challenge from team-mate Richie Stanaway.

RESULTS - 157 LAPS:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 6h01m52.122s
2 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, T.Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 53.016s
3 LMP1 A.Davidson, N.Lapierre, S.Buemi Toyota Racing Toyota 1m03.945s
4 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 1 Lap
5 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 2 Laps
6 LMP1 A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, M.Conway Toyota Racing Toyota 2 Laps
7 LMP1 N.Prost, N.Heidfeld, M.Beche Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Toyota 8 Laps
8 LMP2 M.Howson, R.Bradley, T.Matsuda KCMG ORECA/Nissan 12 Laps
9 LMP2 S.Zlobin, N.Minassian, M.Mediani SMP Racing ORECA/Nissan 12 Laps
10 LMP2 S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, E.Brown Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD 16 Laps
11 GTE Pro D.Turner, S.Mucke Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 16 Laps
12 GTE Pro F.Makowiecki, P.Pilet Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 16 Laps
13 GTE Pro G.Bruni, T.Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 16 Laps
14 LMP2 R.Rusinov, O.Pla, J.Canal G-Drive Racing Morgan/Nissan 16 Laps
15 LMP1 C.Bouchut, J.Rossiter, L.Auer Lotus/AER 17 Laps
16 GTE Pro J.Bergmeister, N.Tandy Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 18 Laps
17 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, C.Nygaard Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 19 Laps
18 GTE Am K.Poulsen, D.H.Hansson, R.Stanaway Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 19 Laps
19 GTE Pro D.Rigon, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 20 Laps
20 GTE Am C.Ried, K.Bachler, K.Al Qubaisi Proton Competition Porsche 20 Laps
21 GTE Am L.P.-Companc, M.Cioci, M.Venturi AF Corse Ferrari 20 Laps
22 GTE Pro A.MacDowall, D.O'Young, F.Rees Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 20 Laps
23 GTE Am G.Roda, P.Ruberti, J.Segal 8 Star Motorsports Ferrari 21 Laps
24 GTE Pro R.Taylor, J.Taylor, T.Milner Corvette Racing Chevrolet 22 Laps
25 GTE Am T.Krohn, N.Jonsson, B.Collins Krohn Racing Ferrari 22 Laps
26 GTE Am S.Wyatt, M.Rugolo, A.Bertolini AF Corse Ferrari 24 Laps
27 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, M.Vaxiviere Prospeed Competition Porsche 46 Laps
- LMP1 D.Kraihamer, A.Belicchi, F.Leimer Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Toyota Retirement
- LMP2 K.Ladygin, V.Shaytar, A.Ladygin SMP Racing ORECA/Nissan Retirement

LMP1 DRIVERS' STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Nicolas Lapierre 96
1 Sebastien Buemi 96
1 Anthony Davidson 96
2 Benoit Treluyer 85
2 Marcel Fassler 85
2 Andre Lotterer 85
3 Tom Kristensen 72
3 Lucas di Grassi 72
4 Nick Heidfeld 48
4 Nicolas Prost 48
4 Mathias Beche 48
5 Romain Dumas 45
5 Neel Jani 45
5 Marc Lieb 45
6 Stephane Sarrazin 43
6 Alexander Wurz 43
7 Loic Duval 36
8 Marc Gene 36
9 Kazuki Nakajima 35
10 Brendon Hartley 25.5
10 Mark Webber 25.5
10 Timo Bernhard 25.5

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Austin WEC: Storm and crashes interrupt race, cause red flag

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