Shanghai WEC: Porsche wins title, Webber/Hartley/Bernhard win again

Porsche claimed the World Endurance Championship manufacturers' crown at Shanghai as a fourth consecutive victory for Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley made them clear drivers' title favourites

Shanghai WEC: Porsche wins title, Webber/Hartley/Bernhard win again

The championship-leading trio, who extended their advantage to 12 points with one race to go, led home another one-two for the Porsche 919 Hybrid, finishing 26 seconds ahead of the Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb.

Porsche had to overcome a strong challenge from Audi over the course of a race that ran for much of its six-hour duration in wet and then drying conditions.

Porsche got the upper hand late in the third hour when the two Audi R18 e-trons changed tyres - the #7 onto a new set of wets and the #8 onto intermediates - whereas the 919 Hybrids double stinted their wet-weather rubber.

Audi clawed back some of the lost time by switching to slicks first and looked set to claim second with Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler after Dumas spun in the penultimate hour.

Dumas was able to recover much of the lost time and then move ahead of Audi when he stayed on the same set of tyres at his final splash-and-dash pitstop with 15 minutes to go.

A late-race full course yellow allowed Lotterer a sniff of second, but the Frenchman was able to hang on to take the position by four seconds.

Bernhard said: "I still remember the first roll-out [of the original 919] in 2013, and we could barely manage 5km and now we are sitting here having won a world championship for Porsche.

"We decided to leave the rain tyres on and that won us the race, because we were able to pull a gap."

The second Audi took fourth in the hands of Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis, who finished 20s back on their team-mates.

Toyota again took fifth and sixth positions after being unable to exploit the wet conditions in the same way as it had done at the Fuji WEC round last month.

The second TS040 HYBRID of Alex Wurz, Mike Conway and Stephane Sarrazin finished ahead of its sister car, which lost two laps when Kazuki Nakajima beached the car in the gravel early in the race.

The best of the Rebellion-AER R-Ones took privateer LMP1 honours in the hands of Nicolas Prost and Mathias Beche despite sustaining serious bodywork damage in the closing stages when the latter spun.

The Signatech Alpine squad took the LMP2 class win with its ORECA-Nissan 03R driven by Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin and team newcomer Tom Dillmann.

It finished a lap up on the championship-leading G-Drive Ligier-Nissan JSP2 shared by Sam Bird, Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov.

They finished 50s ahead of the KCMG ORECA-Nissan 05 of Nick Tandy, Richard Bradley and Matt Howson to extend their points advantage.

The Chinese entrant lost time early in the race when Tandy spun and was briefly stranded in the gravel.

Porsche dominated in GTE Pro, Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen taking a clear victory aboard their Manthey 911 RSR after dominating during the wet conditions.

AF Corse Ferrari drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander overcame the second Porsche, shared by Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki, to finish second and retain a mathematical chance of retaining their title.

GTE Am honours went to the AF Ferrari 458 Italia shared by Emmanuel Collard, Rui Aguas and Francois Perrodo.

RESULTS - 169 LAPS:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 6h00m07.725s
2 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 26.294s
3 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 30.311s
4 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 50.906s
5 LMP1 A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, M.Conway Toyota Racing Toyota 4 Laps
6 LMP1 A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota 5 Laps
7 LMP1 N.Prost, M.Beche Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 11 Laps
8 LMP1 S.Trummer, P.Kaffer Team ByKolles CLM/AER 13 Laps
9 LMP2 N.Panciatici, P-L.Chatin, T.Dillmann Signatech Alpine Alpine/Nissan 15 Laps
10 LMP2 R.Rusinov, J.Canal, S.Bird G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 16 Laps
11 LMP2 M.Howson, R.Bradley, N.Tandy KCMG ORECA/Nissan 16 Laps
12 LMP2 P.Ragues, O.Webb, C.Cumming Team SARD Morand Morgan/SARD 17 Laps
13 LMP2 D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung, A.Brundle Pegasus Racing Morgan/Nissan 17 Laps
14 GTE Pro R.Lietz, M.Christensen Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 18 Laps
15 GTE Pro G.Bruni, T.Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 18 Laps
16 GTE Pro P.Pilet, F.Makowiecki Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 18 Laps
17 GTE Pro D.Rigon, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 19 Laps
18 GTE Pro A.MacDowall, F.Rees, R.Stanaway Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 20 Laps
19 GTE Pro D.Turner, J.Adam Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 20 Laps
20 LMP2 E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, J.Fogarty Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 22 Laps
21 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 23 Laps
22 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 23 Laps
23 GTE Am V.Shaytar, A.Bertolini, A.Basov SMP Racing Ferrari 24 Laps
24 GTE Am P.Dempsey, P.Long, M.Seefried Dempsey Racing - Proton Porsche 24 Laps
25 GTE Am G.Roda, P.Ruberti, N.Sylvest Larbre Competition Chevrolet 25 Laps
26 LMP2 N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane Strakka Racing Gibson/Nissan 25 Laps
27 GTE Am F.Castellacci, L.Griffin, S.Hall Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 30 Laps
28 GTE Am C.Ried, K.Al Qubaisi, K.Bachler Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 30 Laps
- LMP1 A.Imperatori, D.Kraihamer, M.Tuscher Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER Retirement
- LMP2 G.Yacaman, P.Derani, R.Gonzalez G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan Retirement
- LMP2 S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, D.H.Hansson Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD Retirement

LEADING CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Brendon Hartley 155
1 Mark Webber 155
1 Timo Bernhard 155
2 Benoit Treluyer 143
2 Andre Lotterer 143
2 Marcel Fassler 143
3 Romain Dumas 113.5
3 Neel Jani 113.5
3 Marc Lieb 113.5
4 Loic Duval 91
4 Oliver Jarvis 91
4 Lucas di Grassi 91
5 Anthony Davidson 67
5 Sebastien Buemi 67
6 Nick Tandy 66.5
7 Mike Conway 64
7 Alexander Wurz 64
7 Stephane Sarrazin 64
8 Kazuki Nakajima 63
9 Earl Bamber 58
10 Nico Hulkenberg 58
11 Julien Canal 27.5
11 Sam Bird 27.5
11 Roman Rusinov 27.5
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Shanghai WEC: Mark Webber/Brendon Hartley put Porsche on pole

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