Porsche dominated the 6 Hours of Shanghai in the penultimate round of the 2015 FIA WEC season to claim a 1-2 finish. By doing this, the Stuttgart-based manufacturer further claimed the 2015 FIA WEC constructor’s championship title.
The team of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley flashed across the finish line first in the #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid to extend their lead in the standings to 155 points. This was the fourth straight win for the #17 team. They shared the podium with the #18 sister car of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb which finished second and the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Marcel Fassler, André Lotterer and Benoît Treluyer.
The 6 hours of racing at the Shanghai International Circuit were faced by mixed conditions – both wet and dry; allowing the drivers to play around with different sets of tires. Hartley started the race in the lead but an incident involving Marc Lieb in the #18 Porsche and Lotterer in the #7 Audi changed the order of the field. The two cars made contact before sending the #7 Audi into a spin.
Lieb had to fight back hard while recovering from that incident but under wet conditions the Audi cars were much faster. They led for sometime up until Neel Jani took over the #18 Porsche and reclaimed the lead by passing both Audis. When the track began to dry, Porsche began making up for the lost pace and managed to put two cars in podium after chequered flag.
The #7 Audi thus claimed the final spot on the podium while the #8 sister car finished in fourth place leading the #2 and #1 Toyota TS040 Hybrids in P5 and P6 respectively. The No.12 Rebellion R-One-AER finished first in LMP1 privateer category.
Elsewhere, the #36 Signatech Alpine team of Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin and Tom Dillmann claimed their first win of the season by finishing first in LMP2 category. They shared the podium with the #26 Ligier JS P2 – Nissan and the #47 Oreca 05 – Nissan.
In GT categories the fun and fight was shared between Ferrari and Porsche. The Italian marque leads manufacturer’s standings in both GT classes (AM and Pro) while Porsche leads the drivers’ standings.
Once again Porsche dominated the LMGTE-Pro class after a fierce battle between two Team Manthey 911 RSRs and the #51 Ferrari 458 GTE piloted by Toni Vilander and Gimmi Bruni. Eventually it was Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR who finished first leading the #51 Ferrari and the other Team Manthey Porsche of Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet.
Things were different in the LMGTE-Am category with Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche making it hard to predict the winner. The #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana set the pace of the race only to be passed by the #50 Larbre Competition Corvette driven by Paolo Ruberti.
Aston Martin later grabbed the lead with the #98 and #96 cars while the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari ran close behind them. A last minute slide into the gravel trap by the #96 Aston Martin allowed the Ferrari to claim a podium win by finishing third. The ultimate win went to the #83 AF Corse Ferrari of Emmanuel Collard, Rui Aguas and Francois Perrodo who finished in P1 ahead of the #98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana.
The season finale will take place in Bahrain on 21st November.