Toyota won the WEC's 6 Hours of Shanghai but Porsche took the season long World Manufacturers’ Championship.
The Toyota No.8 TS050 HYBRID of Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi won a race dominated by the Japanese manufacturer which was marred when the No.7 Toyota of José Maria Lopez was involved on an incident with a GTE Pro car in the final hour.
“It’s an amazing result for our car." said Buemi "We had a great fight with the sister car and it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t bring home a one-two. It’s been a great job from the team to strike back from some difficult races with back-to-back wins. Hopefully we can fight for a fifth win in Bahrain and have more wins than Porsche this season. For now let’s celebrate the win and enjoy the last fight in Bahrain.”
Added Davidson, “It’s great to get a win again after actually driving the car, unlike in Fuji! I can properly celebrate this one. The car was great. We struggled a bit compared to No.7 in qualifying but we had the best car in the race. I want to say thanks to our car crew because we had the right strategy and strong pit stops. That gave us the platform to win today.”
While leading the race the the No.7 Toyota of José Maria Lopez was forced to the pits for repairs handing the race to his teammated in the No.8 Toyota.
“On my second stint it was difficult with the tires." said Lopez "Then I had the incident with the GT car. It was my fault for sure, but it’s not an easy situation. I was going inside at turn 13; it’s the kind of thing you do a few times every race and there is no problem. I will have a look at the video and learn from this to come back stronger.”
Finishing in second place was the No.2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley. That runner's up spot gave them the 2017 FIA World Endurance Drivers’ title with one race remaining. It is Bernhard and Hartley’s second championship title (first in 2015) and Bamber’s first.
“World Champion! It just sounds amazing." said Bamber "The team was fighting hard for it all year and now we grab the manufacturers and drivers world championship. I did a double stint at the start of the race. It was okay but it didn’t look like we were on the right tyre. I just tried to manage the tire as best as I could for the double stint. The tyres held on very, very well actually, but we didn’t have a chance against the Toyota. The task was to bring it home in third position which ultimately became second. This weekend is super special. I can hardly believe that I won my first championship with Porsche back in 2013, only four years ago.”
Rounding out the podium was the No.1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, André Lotterer and Nick Tandy. Their race was not trouble free. In the first hour when Tandy slowed with a throttle sensor issue.
The LMP2 class was won by the No.31 Vaillante Rebellion of Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost and Julien Canal. Finishing second was the the Signatech Alpine of Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and André Negrão. The result keeps Menezes in outside contention for the LMP2 Drivers’ crown.
Said Menezes, "I'd say that the result is better than we might have hoped for at the start of the weekend. Nico made very good start, then André managed to keep up a very good rhythm until he handed over to me. I managed to close a little bit on the leaders during my first stint, before then easing off again due to our strategy. As we had only changed the rear tyres, I had to deal with some understeer. In the end, second place is the result that we deserved. In Bahrain, our sights will be set purely on winning."
In LMGTE Pro Ford took the race win and Ferrari sealed the GT Manufacturers’ title. Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell claimed their second LMGTE Pro win of the season. The win came after Tincknell held off the Porsche of Richard Lietz’s Porsche 911 RSR which was then was hit by the No.7 Toyota driven by José Maria Lopez. The No.91 Porsche 911 RSR of Frédéric Makowiecki and Richard Lietz went on to claim second.
Ferrari’s third and sixth place finishes in the class were enough to seal the GT FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship. The No.51 Ferrari 488 GTE of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado earned the final podium step.
In LMGTE Am the No.98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 of Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy took a third win of the season and a 10-point lead in the championship.
Lamy said following the race, “This win really means a lot. It puts us in a great place for Bahrain as before the championship was looking really close. Obviously, you can never relax but this obviously makes the job much easier. To claim Aston Martin Racing’s 50th victory since the team started in 2004 is a really great achievement and really shows the success of Aston Martin Racing over the years. I hope we can make this 51 next time out”.
Gulf Racing UK of Ben Barker, Nick Foster and Khaled Al Qubaisi took second place in the No.86 Porsche 911 RSR. The Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche of Christian Ried, Marvin Dienst and Matteo Cairoli was third.
The race into the night will be on Saturday 18th November.
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