Porsche and Aston Martin do the GTE double in 6 Hours of Shanghai
The sixth round of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship produced both action and drama in front of a crowd of 45,000 enthusiastic fans, but it was consistency which won the day.
Porsche Team Manthey took a 1-2 finish in the LMGTE Pro category after a trouble-free run, and Aston Martin Racing celebrated its third consecutive 1-2 result in the Am class. This result ensures that Aston Martin Racing cannot be caught in the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Am Teams although it won’t be known until at least Bahrain if it will be the No.95 or No.98 which finishes on top.
The 6 Hours of Shanghai started in a spectacularly unlucky fashion for GT Drivers’ Championship leaders, Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander in the No.51 AF Corse entry. The Ferrari 458 Italia was involved in a first lap accident with the No.47 KCMG LMP2 car, which had slowed on track due to a fuel pump issue, and the resulting damage put the Ferrari out of the race immediately.
Pole-sitter Stefan Mücke in the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 led the race for the first four and a half hours but saw his and Darren Turner’s hopes of victory go up in smoke; that car too was an instant retirement.
With these two challengers gone, it was relatively plain sailing for the remainder of the race for both Makowiecki and Pilet in the No.92 Porsche 911 RSR, although the French duo was pushed hard throughout by their team mates in the No.91 entry, Jörg Bergmeister and Richard Lietz. It was Porsche Team Manthey’s first win since the opening round of the season, the 6 Hours of Silverstone, and a great boost for the team after a difficult race in Japan.
Third in the Pro category was the No.71 AF Corse Ferrari of Davide Rigon and James Calado, the result giving the Italian-British pairing a second podium in two races and some compensation for the disappointment of seeing their team mates go out of the race so early on. Aston Martin Racing’s No.99 Vantage V8 of Alex MacDowall, Hong Kong’s Darryl O’Young and Fernando Rees was the final finisher in the GTE Pro class today, in fourth place.
Consistency was also the watchword for the LMGTE Am class, and the No.98 Vantage V8 of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Christoffer Nygaard took its second victory of the season after a faultless race. The trio avoided trouble and were rarely out of the class lead throughout the 6-hour race which took place in front of a large number of delighted Aston Martin VIP guests. That the team produced another 1-2 result in the category was the icing on the cake, and today’s victory gave the team its fifth class win from six races –a great tribute to all in the British squad.
Kristian Poulsen and David Heinemeier-Hansson in the No.98 Aston Martin undoubtedly benefited today from the pace of New Zealander Richie Stanaway, the gap between the two British cars being 81 seconds at the chequered flag. Third in class was the No.90 8Star Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia of Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti and FIA WEC newcomer Matteo Cressoni. The AF-Corse run car made an early pit stop which put it out of sequence from its rivals, but it went on to have a trouble-free run to its first podium of the season.
The next round of the championship will be the 6 Hours of Bahrain, a race into the night on Saturday 15th November. The championship title battles are getting closer and closer, and there is just seven points different now between Ferrari and Porsche in the World Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers. Don’t miss the action from Bahrain!
17:10:05 Toyota extend lead in WEC to 39 points
17:08:00 24 Finishers - fastest lap by #8 Toyota 1:48.694 by Buemi
17:07:15 In GTE Am #98 Aston ( 165 laps) wins from #95 Aston and #90 Ferrari
17:06:12 In GTE Pro #92 Porsche (167 laps) wins from #91 Porsche and #71 Ferrari
17:05:17 In P2 #26 Ligier (177 laps) wins from #30 ESM HPD (not registered for WEC) and #27 Oreca and #37 Oreca
17:03:56 In LMP1-L #12 Rebellion (180 laps) beats #13 Rebellion and #9 Lotus
17:02:46 Toyota #8's 4th win of 2014 and 3rd 1-2 for Toyota this year
17:01:59 Toyota completing 188 laps #8 wins from #7 Toyota and #14 Porsche
17:00:11 Final lap
16:56:00 5 minutes to chequered flag
16:53:17 Oreca #27 passes Oreca #37 for 3rd in P2
16:45:13 Audi #2 takes 4th place
16:44:33 Audi #1 into pits from 4th
16:42:08 ESM #30 stays 2nd in P2
16:40:25 ESM #30 stops from 2nd place in P2
16:32:52 Audi #1 and Aston #99 of O'Young have contact but continue
16:26:14 P2 leader #26 Ligier into pits
16:24:44 ESM #30 takes 2nd in P2
16:22:22 Oreca #37 into pits from 2nd in P2
16:21:13 Morgan Judd #35 rejoins 20 laps down on the leader in 19th place
16:20:06 1:49.608 his fastest lap so far of race by Webber in #20 Porsche
16:18:35 Fastest lap so far for #7 Toyota by Nakajima 1:49.216
16:17:02 ESM #30 retakes 3rd in P2
16:15:01 2:04.008 fastest lap in GTE Am by Lamy in #98 Aston
16:13:40 Toyota #7 stops Toyota #8 retakes the lead
16:13:04 1:49.356 now for Jani in #14 Porsche
16:12:25 Porsche #20 stops Webber stays in
16:11:33 1:49.627 fastest lap of race by Porsche in #14 by Jani
16:10:33 Audi #2 into pits Fassler stays in and drops to 5th
16:09:32 Toyota #7 takes lead
16:08:43 Leading Toyota #8 into pits Davidson gets in
16:08:00 Porsche #14 into pit lane Jani stays in - Audi #2 into 3rd place
16:06:22 Fastest lap in GTE Am for #98 Aston 2:04.700
16:04:47 In GTE Am #98 Aston leads from #95 Aston and #90 Ferrari
16:03:36 In GTE Pro #92 Porsche leads by 26 seconds from team mate #91 with #99 Aston in 3rd
16:02:33 In P2 #26 Ligier leads by over a lap from #37 and #27 Oreca's
16:01:39 1:49.852 for Fassler in #2 fastest Audi lap of the race
16:00:51 Ferrari #'71 drops to 4th in GTE Pro after stop #99 Aston now 3rd
16:00:00 With one hour to go #8 Toyota leads #7 Toyota by 80 seconds and is a lap ahead of #14 Porsche
15:55:57 ESM #30 stops from 3rd place in P2
15:55:12 Audi #2 now ahead of team mate #1 in 4th place
15:53:38 Audi #2 into pits Fassler stays in
15:52:49 Overheating and braking issues reported for #35 Morgan Judd
15:51:17 Audi #1 into pits Di Grassi in
15:47:14 Buemi in #8 Toyota laps 3rd place #14 Porsche
15:46:28 24 cars still running with 75 minutes to go - only retirements #47 Oreca #51 Ferrari and #97 Aston
15:43:54 Ferrari #90 takes 3rd place in GTE Am from #75 Porsche
15:41:49 Webber in #20 Porsche unlaps himself from Audi #1 but cars touch briefly
15:40:21 Buemi in #8 Toyota laps 4th place Audi #1 of Kristensen
15:33:21 P2 leader #26 Ligier pits
15:32:22 Porsche's #92 and #91 lead GTE Pro #71 Ferrari 3rd
15:31:09 Aston #97 pulls off - engine trouble
15:30:18 1:52.698 fastest LMP1-L lap for #12 Rebellion
Full race results can be found HERE