Porsche celebrated their maiden FIA WEC win during the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo yesterday in a thrilling season finale race. It was their first prototype win since 1989 and they had won pole position and started in 1-2 positions on the grid. It was an emotional race for Porsche drivers as they have fought hard throughout the season with this being their first season in prototype racing in a long time.
Neel Jani took the chequered flag in front of 50,000 fans at the Interlagos Circuit in his #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid. Anthony Davidson came second in the #8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid and this was enough to award Toyota with the manufacturer’s title. Audi also performed well in this round after appearing on the podium for the first time since the race at COTA in September. Tom Kristensen ended his career on a high note after taking the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro home in third.
There was an incident involving the pole sitting #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Mark Webber and and the #90 8 Star Ferrari 458 Italia of Matteo Cressoni after they crashed in the final laps. The drivers were taken to the Hospital Bandeirantes in Sao Paulo and are not seriously injured. The team of Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson took the drivers’ championship too with a total of 166 points. First runners up went to Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler in the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro as they finished the race in fifth place.
In the LMP2 class, the teams’ title was won by the #27 SMP Racing crew while Sergey Zlobin took the drivers’ title becoming the first Russian to win an endurance world title in an LMP car. The team of Richard Bradley, Matt Howson and Alexander Imperatori scooped the LMP2 class win for their third victory of the season.
The GT racing classes brought unrivaled action to the field in a battle for both the GT Cup title and the teams’ titles. Aston Martin Racing managed to put down a good show and eventually drove away with trophies for both LM GTE Pro and LM GTE-Am categories. Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke crossed the finish line first and seventh overall in the Aston Martin Martin V8 Vantage. They were followed by the No.92 Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSR of Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet. Third in this class was the No.71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Davide Rigon and James Calado and this was their fifth podium win of the season.
Despite a rough race for Ferrari in the season finale, they won the coveted FIA Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers trophy with a total of 288 points. Porsche was second with 262 points while Aston Martin was third with 232 points. The #95 Aston Martin won in the LMGTE-Am class.