Nurburgring WEC: Webber/Bernhard/Hartley win for dominant Porsche

Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley claimed their first World Endurance Championship victory at the Nurburgring on a day that Porsche dominated on home ground

Nurburgring WEC: Webber/Bernhard/Hartley win for dominant Porsche

The #17 car won by over a lap from the sister 919 Hybrid driven by Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas, which was stationary in the pitlane for 1m35s after a series of stop-go penalties for fuel useage violations.

The latest high-downforce version of the 919 Hybrid had a clear advantage over the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, as well as the Toyota TS040 HYBRID, around the 'Ring, which explained the one-lap margin of victory and why the Jani/Lieb/Dumas car was able to get back to second in the final hour.

Jani was able to propel the #18 Porsche into a clear lead through the opening stint, while Bernhard struggled as a result of a broken front diveplane.

The German driver was half a minute behind his team-mate in second position when he made an early first stop, at which point the nose of the Porsche was changed when Webber took over the #17 car.

The lost ground was made up in the second hour when the #18 car was given a five-second stop-go penalty for going over the fuel useage allowed each lap.

The #18 car was penalised again, this time 30s for a second offence, in the third hour and for a third time, with a one-minute sanction, shortly afterwards.

An engine sensor that controls the fuel flow had failed, but Porsche was able to switch over to a duplicate of the offending unit at this point to cure the problems.

A strong run from Jani over two and a half stints - including a stint and a half on one set of tyres - brought the car back into contention and Lieb was back in second after the final round of pitstops were complete.

Bernhard said of the broken diveplane: "It was a major problem and I had a lot of understeer, but after the nose change we had a good car again.

Jani and his co-drivers didn't begrude their team-mates a first WEC victory.

"We had three penalties, but the #17 car has had problems this year, so I think they deserved it."

"We were never going to get better than second after our problems, but that position is good for our championship."

Audi claimed third position with Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler.

Their #7 R18 had fallen behind the sister car with Lucas di Grassi at the wheel in the final hour, but when it became clear that the Brazilian was going to be unable to challenge Lieb for second he was instructed to let Lotterer back past to maximise the points haul for the marque's best-placed crew in the championship battle.

"The result wasn't that bad, but it is just that our rival has come with a really good downforce package and were just faster today - we have a lot of homework to do," said Lotterer.

Toyota was nowhere, as expected, at the Nurburgring.

It claimed distant fifth and sixth positions, with Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima finishing three laps down and one lap ahead of the sister car of Alex Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway.

The KCMG team followed up on its Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 victory with another class victory at the 'Ring, this time with Nick Tandy joining Richard Bradley and Matt Howson aboard their ORECA-Nissan 05.

They dominated proceedings over the six hours of the race, only falling behind for a short period after silver-rated driver Howson took over from Tandy during a slow second pitstop.

The two OAK-run G-Drive Ligier-Nissan JSP2s led the challenge, but ultimately fell short in second and third positions.

Sam Bird, Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal were more than a minute behind at the finish, while Luis Felipe 'Pipo' Derani, Gustavo Yacaman and Ricardo Gonzalez were a lap down in the final results.

Porsche also claimed one-two in GTE Pro with the pair of factory Manthey-run 911 RSRs.

Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen took the victory ahead of Frederic Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet, who were penalised twice, once for a jumped start and once for avoidable contact.

GT championship leaders Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander finished seventh and last in class after an electronic glitch struck their AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia in the opening hour.

The AF-run SMP Ferrari driven by Andrea Bertolini, Viktor Shaitar and Aleksey Basov won the GTE Am class.

RESULT - 203 LAPS:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 6h01m16.966s
2 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 1 Lap
3 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1 Lap
4 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1 Lap
5 LMP1 A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota 3 Laps
6 LMP1 A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, M.Conway Toyota Racing Toyota 4 Laps
7 LMP2 M.Howson, R.Bradley, N.Tandy KCMG ORECA/Nissan 18 Laps
8 LMP2 R.Rusinov, J.Canal, S.Bird G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 18 Laps
9 LMP2 G.Yacaman, P.Derani, R.Gonzalez G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 19 Laps
10 LMP2 P.Ragues, O.Webb, A.Hamilton Team SARD Morand Morgan/SARD 19 Laps
11 LMP2 N.Panciatici, P-L.Chatin, V.Capillaire Signatech Alpine Alpine/Nissan 20 Laps
12 LMP2 S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, D.H.Hansson Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 20 Laps
13 LMP2 N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane Strakka Racing Gibson/Nissan 22 Laps
14 LMP2 E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, J.Fogarty Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 26 Laps
15 GTE Pro R.Lietz, M.Christensen Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 27 Laps
16 GTE Pro P.Pilet, F.Makowiecki Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 28 Laps
17 GTE Pro D.Rigon, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 28 Laps
18 LMP1 S.Trummer, P.Kaffer Team ByKolles CLM/AER 28 Laps
19 GTE Pro M.Sorensen, C.Nygaard Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 28 Laps
20 GTE Pro F.Rees, A.MacDowall, R.Stanaway Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 29 Laps
21 GTE Pro D.Turner, S.Mucke, J.Adam Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 30 Laps
22 LMP1 N.Prost, M.Beche, N.Heidfeld Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 30 Laps
23 GTE Am V.Shaytar, A.Bertolini, A.Basov SMP Racing Ferrari 30 Laps
24 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 31 Laps
25 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 31 Laps
26 GTE Am P.Dempsey, P.Long, M.Seefried Dempsey Racing - Proton Porsche 31 Laps
27 GTE Am G.Roda, P.Ruberti, K.Poulsen Larbre Competition Chevrolet 32 Laps
28 GTE Am C.Ried, K.Al Qubaisi, E.Bamber Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 33 Laps
29 GTE Am F.Castellacci, R.Goethe, S.Hall Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 34 Laps
30 GTE Pro G.Bruni, T.Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 35 Laps
- LMP1 A.Imperatori, D.Kraihamer, D.Abt Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER Retirement


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