Porsche claim Shanghai win and Manufacturers’ Championship
Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley extended their title lead in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship by scoring a fourth consecutive victory, at Shanghai today.
With the No.18 Porsche finishing in second place, 26-seconds behind the No.17 car, Porsche clinched the 2015 FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship, sending the Stuttgart mark into ecstasy. Now holding a 70-point lead in the Manufacturers’ standings over Audi, Porsche cannot be beaten no matter what happens at the final race at Bahrain.
Like Fuji last month, Shanghai produced another sensational WEC event today. In changeable weather and track conditions, each of the Porsche and Audi entries led the race at stages, thrilling the crowd and TV viewers alike.
Brendon Hartley led for the opening phase of the race but, right from the start, there was excitement as the No.18 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Marc Lieb had contact with André Lotterer’s No.7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro and spun onto a kerb. The incident ensured that Lieb had to then begin an awe-inspiring drive back through the field.
The opening three hours was punctuated by extremely challenging conditions for the drivers. An early safety car was followed by several Full Course Yellows to retrieve cars stranded in gravel traps.
With Audi seeming to have a slightly faster package on a fully wet track, a battle royal was played out after the first driver-change pit stops.
At one stage in the third hour, all four cars were covered by just 3.8 seconds as they fought a classic encounter around the Shanghai International Circuit.
After Neel Jani took over the No.18 Porsche 919 Hybrid, the rapid Swiss claimed the lead just after the halfway mark when he overtook both Audi R18 e-tron quattros.
As the race wore on, so the track slowly dried, handing an advantage to Porsche who were able to extract more laps in a stint from their wet-weather Michelin tyres than Audi. However, in a fascinating game of strategy and risk, Audi switched to full slick tyres earlier than Porsche, bringing them back into contention late in the race.
There was also last hour drama as the recovering No.18 fell back behind the Audis after Romain Dumas spun at turn two. The Frenchman redeemed himself though and posted some remarkable laps to emerge from a final ‘fuel-splash’ pit-stop in second position. Dumas also soaked up late race pressure to ward off a hard-charging Lotterer, who started and finished the race in the No.7 Audi.
The No.8 Audi of Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis and Lucas Di Grassi came home in fourth place once again after some tenacious fights throughout the race.
Toyota Racing took fifth and sixth places after several problems throughout the event. The No.2 car of Mike Conway, Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin headed the No.1 Toyota TS 040 after Kazuki Nakajima lost time with a gravelly spin at turn 16, triggering the third Full Course Yellow period.
The No.12 Rebellion R-One-AER took privateer LMP1 honours in the hands of Nicolas Prost and Mathias Beche despite an accident just 15-minutes from the end of the race. Beche hit the wall at turn 10 but was able to get back to the pits where the team performed miracles to return to the track before the chequered flag fell.
Signatech take maiden LMP2 WEC win
Taking a fine, first LMP2 win in the WEC at Shanghai was the Signatech Alpine squad of Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin and championship newcomer Tom Dillmann.
Driving the Alpine A450b-Nissan, the French trio came good in the second half of the race after Chatin drove an excellent middle portion to set up a useful gap to the chasing G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan entries.
Signatech had a lap advantage over the No.26 G-Drive Racing trio of Sam Bird, Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov which led the race in the opening hour. The second place for the No.26 G-Drive crew in Shanghai further extends their points lead over KCMG to 16 points, with 26 to play for in Bahrain.
The sister G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan seemed to be heading for another podium position after fine early work from Pipo Derani and Gustavo Yacaman. However, a late race trip into the gravel by Ricardo Gonzalez saw the car unclassified for the first time this season.
KCMG’s race in Shanghai was compromised early on in the very wet conditions when Nick Tandy suffered a spin causing the Safety Car to be deployed on the first green flag lap of the race. A subsequent gamble onto full wet tyres initially worked for the Hong Kong team in the first hour, but when the rain abated they had to switch to intermediates. Strong stints from Matt Howson, Richard Bradley and again from Nick Tandy saw them come through to finish third.
Team SARD Morand continued their strong run of results with fourth place in class. Oliver Webb, Pierre Ragues and Chris Cumming had a trouble-free race to collect more points in the Morgan Evo-SARD.
The LMP2 class saw an entertaining cameo performance from the Pegasus Racing Morgan-Nissan in the first four hours of the race. A sensational triple stint from LMP returnee Alex Brundle saw the Michelin-shod Morgan make the most of the conditions to lead the chasing pack. However, in the last two hours of the race, with the circuit drying, the turquoise Morgan fell back and would eventually earn Brundle and his Chinese teammates Ho-Pin Tung and David Cheng a creditable fifth place finish.
Full results can be found HERE
Full Championship classifications can be found HERE
CLICK HERE to see the post race press conference video
17:06:33 Rebellion #12 wins privateer P1 class from #4 CLM
17:05:38 In GTE Am Ferrari #83 wins from Aston #98 and #72 Ferrari
17:04:20 Porsche #91 win GTE Pro from #51 Ferrari and Porsche #92
17:03:18 Alpine #36 wins P2 from #26 Ligier and #47 Orec
17:02:22 Porsche provisionally win WEC manufacturers title
17:01:48 Porsche #17 wins overall from Porsche #18 and Audi #7
17:01:02 Chequered Flag
17:00:16 Ligier #28 into gravel
16:59:08 Rebellion #13 has stopped
16:55:23 Green flag again
16:54:50 Gibson #42 back to pits
16:52:39 Rebellion #12 rejoins and Gibson #42 also running again
16:51:21 Gibson #42 off into gravel
16:50:12 Full Course yellow
16:49:56 Porsche #18 ahead of Audi #7 in 2nd place
16:48:51 Rebellion #12 hits barriers
16:46:31 Fuel only for Porsche #18
16:45:18 Porsche #18 into pits
16:42:38 All cars still running apart from #30 Ligier
16:34:05 Ferrari #83 retakes lead in GTE Am from #98 Aston
16:31:24 Porsche #18 of Dumas takes lead
16:30:39 1:46.685 fastest lap for Lotterer in Audi #7
16:30:03 Porsche #17 stops
16:28:36 P2 leader #36 Alpine stops
16:26:37 Audi #7 stops - 4 tyres changed on Audi #7
16:25:49 1:47.289 fastest lap for Duval in Audi #8
16:24:45 GTE Pro leader #91 stops Christensen gets in
16:22:57 Black and white warning flag for Audi #7
16:21:32 1:47.467 fastest lap for Webber in Porsche #17
16:20:54 Audi #8 stops and puts on new slicks
16:19:57 1:47.528 fastest lap for Webber in Porsche #17
16:19:16 Ferrari #51 takes 2nd in GTE Pro from Porsche #92 stops
16:17:01 Oreca #47 up to 3rd in P2
16:14:23 Aston #96 back to pits
16:12:14 Aston #96 in gravel - loses 3rd place to Ferrari #72
16:11:11 1:48.121 fastest lap for Dumas in Porsche #18
16:09:53 Aston #98 retakes lead in GTE Am after stop for Ferrari #83
16:05:37 1:48.228 fastest lap for Webber in Porsche #17
16:04:51 Rebellion #12 still leads privateer P1 class
16:04:21 After 5 hours Ferrari #83 leads GTE Am by 47 secs from Aston #98
16:03:04 In GTE Pro #91 Porsche leads team mate #92 after 5 hours
16:02:00 In P2 Alpine #36 leads by 61 secs from Ligier #26
16:01:12 After 5 hours Porsche #17 leads by 34 secs from Audi #7
15:57:44 1:48.287 fastest lap for Webber in Porsche #17
15:56:38 Ferrari #83 does drive through and still leads GTE Am
15:52:55 Porsche #17 leads by 29 seconds overall
15:52:17 Audi's #7 and #8 up to 2nd and 3rd overall
15:50:57 Drive through penalty for #83 Ferrari for pit lane infringement
15:50:00 Porsche #18 into pits for slicks
15:49:28 Porsche #17 pits puts on slicks
15:46:59 1:48.721 for Fassler fastest lap in Audi #7
15:46:06 1:51.047 fastest lap for Toyota #1
15:45:06 1:51.187 fastest lap for Duval in Audi #8
15:44:06 Tom Dillmann makes WEC debut in #36 alpine
15:43:14 Audi #7 stops for full slicks
15:42:32 1:53.368 fastest lap for Webber in Porsche #17
15:41:45 Truscher now in Rebellion #13 - youngest driver ever to appear in WEC
15:40:39 Audi #8 stops and puts on slicks
15:40:07 Spin for Porsche #18 and continues - loses 2nd place to Audi #7
15:36:50 Ligier #26 up to 2nd in P2 and #28 Ligier up to 3rd
15:35:24 Porsche #88 and Rebellion #13 have contact
15:34:11 1:53.477 fastest lap for Webber in Porsche #17
15:29:07 Ferrari #83 retakes GTE Am lead as Aston #98 stops
15:27:33 1:54.096 fastest lap of race for Webber in #17 Porsche
15:26:45 1:54.842 fastest lap of race for Webber in #17 Porsche
15:25:38 1:55.204 fastest lap of race for Webber in #17 Porsche
15:24:57 Aston #98 retakes lead in GTE Am
15:24:04 Alpine #36 takes lead in P2 from Morgan #29
15:22:38 Ferrari #51 stops from 2nd place in GTE Pro
15:20:57 1:55.562 fastest lap of race for Porsche #18
15:19:08 GTE Pro leader #91 Porsche stops for slick tyres
15:15:37 Porsche #17 pits - Webber gets in - intermediate tyres go on
15:14:53 Ligier #26 up to 3rd in P2
15:13:49 Porsche #18 pits Dumas gets in - intermediate tyres go on
15:11:19 Leader #17 Porsche laps Audi #8
15:09:37 Full slick tyres go on Porsche #92
15:07:46 Aston #98 retakes lead in GTE Am
15:07:00 Rebellion #12 still leads privateer P1 class
15:05:35 Sarrazin now in Toyota #2
15:01:40 After 4 hours Porsche #17 leads P1 and Morgan #29 leads P2
14:57:56 Audi #8 stops - puts on inter tyres - Duval gets in
14:55:51 Morgan #29 retakes P2 lead
14:53:45 P2 leader #36 stops
14:51:06 Alpine #36 takes lead in p2
14:50:20 Ligier #28 gets a drive through penalty for causing a collision
14:48:40 P2 leader Morgan #29 into pits
14:46:11 Porsche #17 takes lead from team mate #18
14:44:16 Audi #7 into pits intermediate tyres on Fassler gets in
14:42:53 Stop and go penalty for #31 Ligier
14:42:15 Alpine #36 up to 2nd in P2
14:41:28 Most P2 cars now fitting intermediate tyres
14:39:19 Ferrari #83 takes lead in GTE Am
14:36:01 Alpine #36 takes 3rd in P2
14:31:33 Ferrari #83 takes 2nd in GTE Am from Aston #98
14:22:51 Buemi's first lap on inters about 11 seconds off leaders pace
14:18:10 Intermediate tyres for Toyota #1
14:17:30 Aston #96 takes lead of GTE Am
14:16:32 Morgan #29 retakes lead in P2
14:13:54 No tyres taken by either Porsche #17 or #18
14:12:19 Stop for Porsche #17
14:11:00 Porsche #18 stops
14:10:25 Heinemeier Hansen now in Ligier #30
14:09:31 P2 leader #30 Ligier pits
14:07:51 Ligier #31 pit stop under investigation
14:06:50 Rebellion #12 leads P1 privateer class
14:04:34 Ferrari #51 takes 2nd in GTE Pro
14:03:24 After Audi stops Porsche #18 leads by 6 seconds from Porsche #17
14:02:37 After 3 hours Porsche #91 leads GTE Am and Aston #98 leads GTE Am
14:01:30 Audi #8 also stops Di Grassi stays in
14:00:31 Stop for Audi #7 Treluyer stays in