Porsche claims world championship titles after hard fight in Shanghai

Finishing second and third at the penultimate round of the FIA World Endurance Championship allowed the Porsche LMP Team to successfully defend the drivers’ world championship title as well as the one for manufacturers. Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki secured second place in the GTE-Pro class with the Porsche 911 RSR after a spectacular catch-up race.

911 RSR, WEC, Shanghai, race, 2017, Porsche AG
The 911 RSR

The final phase was definitely not for the faint-hearted. Over many laps, the Austrian delivered a gripping duel with the leading Ford, where he was practically glued to the bumper of the frontrunner. With 35 minutes to go, a critical incident thwarted his charge: A Toyota prototype hit the right side of the Porsche in the first corner. Because of this, Richard Lietz lost more than 15 seconds and ultimately the connection to the leader. With his damaged 911 RSR he still managed to salvage second place, only eleven seconds off the winning time.

In the first third of the race, Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen impressed with a strong performance. Taking up the race from the first grid row, it took Kévin Estre only three laps to move into the lead with the #92 Porsche 911 RSR. Estre took the top position after a spectacular duel with the Aston Martin pilot Nicki Thiim, a former teammate from the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Michael Christensen also put in a consistent stint until the second pit stop, where he handed the 911 RSR off to Kévin Estre again at the lead as the fastest GT car in the field. This would be their last driver change on the Shanghai International Circuit: After 2:15 hours, the Frenchman suddenly lost power and had to pull over at the end of the start-finish straight.

The Porsche customer teams also delivered strong performances. Gulf Racing with drivers Ben Barker (Great Britain), Nick Foster (Australia) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) finished on second place. Clinching third place, Dempsey Proton Racing defended their title chances in the drivers’ and team’s classification of the FIA Endurance Trophy with the Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Christian Ried and Marvin Diernst (both Germany).

Comments on the race

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars: “The fight for the world championship remains gripping. Today we managed to narrow the small gap to two points. Hopefully in Bahrain we’ll finally be able to bring home our long overdue maiden world championship win for our new 911 RSR. In the GTE-Pro class it was even closer than usual today. It’s a shame that the incident with the Toyota cost us decisive seconds as well as the chance to be even closer and perhaps even score a victory. The title race in the GTE-Am class is still open.”

Find quotes of the drivers in the press release (downloads).

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