Shanghai WEC: Porsche seals both titles despite Toyota win
Porsche sealed both the FIA World Endurance Championship drivers' and manufacturers' crowns in Shanghai, despite rival Toyota taking victory in the penultimate round of the season.
Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber only needed a third-place finish to wrap up the drivers' title in the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, and sealed the crown after finishing a lapped second behind the #8 Toyota of Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson.
Drama for the sister TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez cost the Japanese manufacturer any chance of keeping the manufacturers' contest open.
The #7 machine had been leading the #8 car by less than two seconds going into the final half-hour, heading a 1-2 that would have prevented Porsche from taking both titles in China.
But, contact between Lopez and the #91 Porsche GTE entry of Richard Lietz at Turn 13 gave the race-leading car a puncture, as well as driveshaft and suspension damage, necessitating a trip to the pits.
Porsche only needed to get one its cars into second place to guarantee the manufacturers' crown, and the #7 car's incident allowed the #2 to take the position.
The #1 Porsche of Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy completed the podium in third in a race in which the Toyotas had a clear edge over the German manufacturer.
Both 919 Hybrids were a lap down after four hours of the race, and an engine sensor issue in the opening hour resulted in more than a minute lost for the #1 trio.
Lotterer, however, was only 20s behind Bernhard in the #2 at the finish.
Repairs to the #7 Toyota cost it seven laps and left it down in fourth at the chequered flag.
Rebellion takes LMP2 points lead
Rebellion took honours in LMP2 with the #13 Oreca of Bruno Senna, Julien Canal and Nicolas Prost, claiming the class championship lead with one round to go.
Senna had dominated the opening hour and a half of the race, but had to come from behind to take victory and the points lead from the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry.
The Brazilian passed Ho-Pin Tung for the lead with just under an hour to go at the end of an eventful race for the car the Chinese driver shared with Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent.
Tung had two incidents not of his making that resulted in spins, being tagged by Ben Hanley in the #24 Manor entry and then Nico Muller in the #26 G-Drive car.
He dropped behind Nicolas Lapierre in the #36 Signatech Alpine and then Nelson Piquet Jr in the second Rebellion entry, fourth place leaving the #38 trio four points behind Senna and Canal.
Ford grabs GTE Pro honours
Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell claimed GTE Pro honours after a prolonged battle with the #91 Porsche 911 RSR that Lietz shared with Frederic Makowiecki.
Priaulx was able to pass Makowiecki for the lead in the fourth hour and then Tincknell fought a successful rearguard action against Lietz prior to his hit from Lopez.
The Porsche faded in the final laps after the contact, ending up nine seconds down at the finish.
Porsche's #92 entry looked on course for victory with the sister car driven by Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen, only for engine issues to put the car out early in the third hour.
Third place for the #51 Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi was enough for the Italian manufacturer to take the GT manufacturers' crown with a round to spare.
Aston Martin drivers Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana had an easy run to victory in GTE Am as its nearest rivals, the Spirit of Race and Clearwater Ferraris, were caught up in incidents.
|1||8|| Anthony Davidson |
|Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LMP1||195|
|2||2|| Timo Bernhard |
|Porsche 919 Hybrid||LMP1||194||1 lap|
|3||1|| Andre Lotterer |
|Porsche 919 Hybrid||LMP1||194||1 lap|
|4||7|| Kamui Kobayashi |
Jose Maria Lopez
|Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LMP1||188||7 laps|
|5||31|| Bruno Senna |
|Oreca 07||LMP2||183||12 laps|
|6||36|| Nicolas Lapierre |
|7||13|| Nelson Piquet Jr. |
David Heinemeier Hansson
|Oreca 07||LMP2||182||13 laps|
|8||38|| Oliver Jarvis |
|9||25|| Vitaly Petrov |
|10||28|| François Perrodo |
|11||26|| Roman Rusinov |
|Oreca 07||LMP2||181||14 laps|
|12||37|| David Cheng |
|13||24|| Jean-Eric Vergne |
|14||67|| Harry Tincknell |
|Ford GT||LMGTE PRO||170||25 laps|
|15||91|| Richard Lietz |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE PRO||170||11.082|
|16||51|| James Calado |
Alessandro Pier Guidi
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE PRO||170||19.920|
|17||66|| Stefan Mücke |
|Ford GT||LMGTE PRO||170||38.739|
|18||95|| Marco Sorensen |
|Aston Martin Vantage||LMGTE PRO||170||1'07.541|
|19||71|| Sam Bird |
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE PRO||170||1'08.317|
|20||97|| Darren Turner |
|Aston Martin Vantage||LMGTE PRO||170||1'49.054|
|21||98|| Pedro Lamy |
Paul Dalla Lana
|Aston Martin Vantage||LMGTE AM||166||29 laps|
|22||86|| Khaled Al Qubaisi |
|Porsche 911 RSR (991)||LMGTE AM||165||30 laps|
|23||77|| Christian Ried |
|Porsche 911 RSR (991)||LMGTE AM||164||31 laps|
|24||61|| Matt Griffin |
Mok Weng Sun
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE AM||158||37 laps|
|25||92|| Michael Christensen |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE PRO||65||130 laps|
|26||54|| Francesco Castellacci |
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE AM||37||158 laps|
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