PORSCHE CREW SNATCH ES WE C CHAMPIONSHIP GLORY
Porsche wrapped up both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ World Endurance Championship crowns at Shanghai last weekend as a number of titles were decided early.
Toyota continued its good recent form and won the race with Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson but Porsche was celebrating the biggest prize.
Second place for Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber was enough for them to clinch the title with a race still remaining.
The Porsches were some way behind the Toyotas, which featured new updates as the Japanese manufacturer has restarted development work on its 2017 car. However, that didn’t prevent the Porsche trio from triumphing.
“Taking the world championship title after winning Le Mans – it might take a while until it all sinks in,” said Hartley. “I had a few busy weeks but sharing this moment with Earl and Timo I will not forget for the rest of my life.”
Toyota had looked on course to take a 1-2 but the second car had two collisions with backmarkers as Jose Maria Lopez was at the wheel. The second of these meant it had to pit for lengthy repairs and finished fourth, behind the second Porsche 919 Hybrid.
LMP2 race honours for the Rebellion ORECA-GIBSON crew of Bruno Senna, Julien Canal and Nicolas Prost mean they have taken the points lead ahead of the season finale in Bahrain on November 18.
Ferrari was also celebrating in China as third place in GTE Pro for Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado was enough for the firm to clinch the GT manufacturers’ title. The race itself was won by British drivers Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell for Ford after a close fight with Porsche duo Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki. Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana (Aston Martin) took a straightforward win in GTE Am.
Porsche’s title-winning crew finished second
L-r: Hartley, Bernhard and Bamber