The 6 Hours of Shanghai provided an exciting challenge for the Porsche World Endurance Championship team, with the Porsche and Audi cars bunched together up front until conditions started to dry, and the Porsche 919s just ran away with it. Another 1-2 finish for Porsche sealed the championship for them.
While the mid-race highlight reel looked more like a wet weather spin compilation than anything else, conditions towards the end of the race started to dry, allowing the über-quick Porsche 919s to run away from the Audis and Toyotas that were nipping at its rear. Audi tried to outsmart the Porsches with aggressive tire choices in the drying conditions, but the 919s were just too fast.
The number 17 Porsche of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendan Hartley took over the lead from the number 18 Porsche on lap 100 and held on to it, per Sportscar365. Meanwhile, the number 18 car kept having to claw its way back from spins during the race, most notably one with less than an hour and a half left to go in the race.
This marks a fourth win in a row for the number 17 Porsche 919, extending Webber, Bernhard and Hartley’s lead in the WEC drivers’ championship, but not quite sealing the deal just yet. We’ll find out later this month in Bahrain if they can make it stick.
Elsewhere, a rare mistake from LMP2-class contender KCMG’s Nick Tandy sent him into a spin after touching one of the wet curbs. While they still managed to fight back to a third-place finish, Tandy being fished out of the gravel made it unlikely for them to catch up with G-Drive’s number 26 car in the championship. Number 26 came in second, right behind Signatech Alpine’s first ever LMP2-class win.
The LMP1 privateer championship was also decided this weekend, with Rebellion Racing’s number 12 car taking both the win and the championship.
Porsche Team Manthey’s number 91 car continued their streak of decent luck with another win here, finishing just ahead of championship rival AF Corse’s number 51 car in LMGTE Pro.
AF Corse’s number 83 LMGTE Am-class car took its first win of the season in that class, however.
Porsche may have run away with the top manufacturers’ title for the series, but there are plenty of titles yet to be determined in the multi-class zoo that is the WEC. We’ll have to see what goes down in the Bahrain season ender.
GIF via WEC YouTube highlight reel
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.