Porsche claims world championship titles after hard fight in Shanghai

LMP1 race FIA World Endurance Championship, round 8 of 9, Shanghai (China)

Finishing second and third at the penultimate round of the FIA World Endurance Championship allowed Porsche to successfully defend the drivers’ world championship title as well as the one for manufacturers. The Porsche LMP Team will return home to Stuttgart with the manufacturers’ trophy for the third consecutive time. The works driver trio of Earl Bamber (NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) finished second in the six-hour race of Shanghai and are the new world champions. Their teammates with the sister car – the outgoing world champion Neel Jani (CH), André Lotterer (DE) and Nick Tandy (GB) – came third in China. A technical issue early in the race had caused them to drop back. Victory in the WEC’s round eight of nine went to Toyota. Until the 174th of 195 laps it looked as if the manufacturers’ title would remain open until the final race in two weeks time. But then the second Toyota had to pit for repairs after a collision and the two Porsche 919 Hybrids each moved up a position.

Porsche 911 RSR (92), Porsche GT Team: Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre; Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche LMP Team: Earl Bamber, Timo Bernhard, Brendon
Porsche 911 RSR (92), Porsche GT Team: Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre; Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche LMP Team: Earl Bamber, Timo Bernhard, Brendon

The race took place on a consistently dry track with ambient temperatures of around 15 degrees Celsius. The abrasive tarmac of the Chinese Formula One circuit was a decisive factor as normal.  

How the race went for car number 1:

Start driver Nick Tandy, who had his 33rd birthday today, battles with both Toyotas and successfully defends second position until a sensor issue drops him back on lap 19. He receives instructions via radio how to activate the back up solution. The 919 is running fine again, but Tandy is now in fourth position, running one minute and 15 seconds behind the third placed sister Porsche. Tandy refuels after 31 laps. End of lap 62 the second stop is due. Neel Jani continues on fresh tyres, he is now one lap down from the leading Toyota. With 75 laps completed, Jani uses a full course yellow period to fill up again. On lap 91 he is also lapped by the second Toyota (number 7). The next stop for fuel is due after 106 laps: pick up is removed from the front splitter and Jani gets two used and two new tyres. With 136 laps completed, the number 1 Porsche is refuelled again. André Lotterer jumps in and gives it a go on fresh tyres. He refuels after 167 laps (race lap 168) for the last time. When the number 7 Toyota needs to pit for repairs after a collision, Lotterer moves up to third.

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