Nurburgring WEC: Porsche follows Le Mans win with one-two finish

Porsche drivers Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber followed up on their Le Mans 24 Hours victory last month with another World Endurance Championship win at the Nurburgring

Nurburgring WEC: Porsche follows Le Mans win with one-two finish

Bernhard and his team-mates triumphed in a close-fought battle with the sister Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Andre Lotterer, Neel Jani and Nick Tandy during which the two cars were rarely separated by more than 10 seconds.

The two Porsches, racing in high-downforce configuration for the first time this season, swapped positions multiple times over the course of the six hours.

Lotterer appeared to have secured the victory over the final hour, pulling a 12s gap on Bernhard until the two cars made splash-and-dash fuel stops in the final 10 minutes.

Bernhard was stationary for 20s less in the championship-leading Porsche, which allowed it to take the victory in what was clearly an orchestrated move.

It was a great day for Porsche and a great team effort; both cars would have deserved the victory because it was close for the whole race," said Bernhard.

Bamber added: "Our car was stronger on new tyres and the other car came on stronger later, but it was also about aero degradation - one minute we'd have the problem and then they would have it."

Toyota briefly took the fight to Porsche with the pole-winning TS050 HYBRID.

Kamui Kobayashi led to the first round of pitstops before handing over to Jose Maria Lopez.

The Argentinian driver was quickly passed by Hartley and then Jani, but remained in touch until the second fuel stops.

Lopez was unable to match the Porsches on his second stint on the tyres and dropped 20s before handing over the car to Conway.

The best of the Toyotas ended up more than a minute down at the chequered flag.

Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, winners of the opening two rounds of the WEC, finished a distant fourth after losing five laps right at the start of the race.

Fuel pump failure meant Buemi had to complete the formation lap on electric power before pitting for a replacement.

Jackie Chan DC Racing trio Oliver Jarvis, Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent took a third LMP2 victory of the season in dominant fashion aboard their Jota-run ORECA-Gibson 07.

Jarvis battled with Bruno Senna in the best of the Rebellion ORECAs, but the Le Mans-winning car took control of the race in the second hour.

Senna, Julien Canal and Filipe Albuquerque ended up a lap down at the finish.

The Signatech Alpine team pipped the second Rebellion team to the final place on the class podium.

Its Alpine-badged ORECA shared by Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Matt Rao sealed the spot ahead of Mathias Beche, David Heinemeier Hansson and Pipo Derani during the final hour.

James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi overcame early leader Porsche to claim GTE Pro honours for Ferrari.

Calado established the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE in the lead during the fourth hour and went on to claim the victory by 50s.

Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz took second in their factory Porsche 911 RSR by just 8.7s from the sister car shared by Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre.

GTE Am honours went to the Dempsey-Proton Porsche driven by Matteo Cairoli, Christian Ried and Marvin Dienst.

RESULTS - 204 LAPS:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 LMP1 T.Bernhard, E.Bamber, B.Hartley Porsche LMP Team Porsche 6h00m09.607s
2 LMP1 N.Jani, A.Lotterer, N.Tandy Porsche LMP Team Porsche 1.606s
3 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1m04.768s
4 LMP1 S.Buemi, A.Davidson, K.Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 5 Laps
5 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, O.Jarvis, T.Laurent Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 13 Laps
6 LMP2 J.Canal, B.Senna, F.Albuquerque Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 14 Laps
7 LMP2 N.Lapierre, G.Menezes, M.Rao Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine/Gibson 14 Laps
8 LMP2 M.Beche, D.H.Hansson, P.Derani Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 14 Laps
9 LMP2 D.Cheng, A.Brundle, T.Gommendy Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 15 Laps
10 LMP2 R.Rusinov, P.Thiriet, B.Hanley G-Drive Racing ORECA/Gibson 16 Laps
11 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, S.Trummer, V.Petrov CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA/Gibson 16 Laps
12 LMP2 F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, E.Collard TDS Racing ORECA/Gibson 16 Laps
13 LMP2 T.Graves, J.Hirschi, R.Merhi CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA/Gibson 21 Laps
14 LMP1 O.Webb, D.Kraihamer, M.Bonanomi ByKOLLES Racing Team ENSO CLM/NISMO 22 Laps
15 GTE Pro J.Calado, A.P.Guidi AF Corse Ferrari 25 Laps
16 GTE Pro R.Lietz, F.Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 25 Laps
17 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre Porsche GT Team Porsche 25 Laps
18 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 26 Laps
19 GTE Pro A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 26 Laps
20 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 26 Laps
21 GTE Pro D.Turner, J.Adam, D.Serra Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 27 Laps
22 GTE Am C.Ried, M.Cairoli, M.Dienst Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 29 Laps
23 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, M.Molina Spirit of Race Ferrari 29 Laps
24 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 30 Laps
25 GTE Pro D.Rigon, T.Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 30 Laps
26 GTE Am Mok W.S., K.Sawa, M.Griffin Clearwater Racing Ferrari 31 Laps
27 GTE Am M.Wainwright, B.Barker, N.Foster Gulf Racing Porsche 31 Laps
- LMP2 N.Moore, P.Hanson Tockwith Motorsports Ligier/Gibson Retirement
- LMP2 P.Ragues, A.Negrao, N.Panciatici Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine/Gibson Retirement

LEADING DRIVERS' STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Timo Bernhard 108
1 Brendon Hartley 108
1 Earl Bamber 108
2 Sebastien Buemi 78
2 Kazuki Nakajima 78
2 Anthony Davidson 78
3 Ho-Pin Tung 60
3 Oliver Jarvis 60
3 Thomas Laurent 60
4 Neel Jani 46
4 Andre Lotterer 46
4 Nick Tandy 46
5 Mike Conway 36.5
5 Kamui Kobayashi 36.5

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