The double victory on the Shanghai International Circuit was the feather in the cap for a faultless performance from the entire team. Despite the adverse weather conditions during free practice, the 470 hp 911 RSR, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, could be perfectly set-up for the critical qualifying.
There, the Porsche pilots locked out positions two and three, which they then turned into a dream result at Sunday’s race. Patrick Pilet (teammate: Frédéric Makowiecki) took the lead of the GT field in the final third of the race, shortly before that Jörg Bergmeister (teammate: Richard Lietz) had overtaken the Ferrari in front. They held on to these positions to the flag – to bring home the second double victory for Porsche since the season-opener at Silverstone.
“We’re of course very pleased. That was a real sprint race and a tough fight over six hours. The team, drivers and engineers did everything perfectly”, said Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport. “This has put us back in the fight for the championship and we’ll be heading to the next race in Bahrain more motivated than ever.”
Also motivational pushed after a successful weekend is the Porsche team of the 919 Hybrid. For the third time the Porsche 919 Hybrid has finished an FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) race on the podium. Round six in Shanghai saw Romain Dumas/Neel Jani/Marc Lieb finish the six-hour race in third place. The sister car of Timo Bernhard/Brendon Hartley/Mark Webber came home sixth after a damaged tyre on lap 33 cost them a lot of time. Until then the two innovative Porsche 919 Hybrids had been lying one-two in the race.
Romain Dumas started from pole position and was leading the race for 21 laps before the sister car took over. Dumas had stayed out during the early safety car period (lap 1 until the end of lap 8) and came in for fuel and tyres after 33 laps. At the end of lap 64 he handed over the car to Marc Lieb – while in third position behind the strong Toyotas. Lieb continued in third, came in for fuel and tyres after 95 laps and handed over to Neel Jani at the end of lap 126. Jani pitted one more time for tyres and fuel after 158 laps, and then brought the car home in third.
Brendon Hartley started third on the grid and improved to second when a Toyota pitted during an early safety car period. On lap 22 he successfully passed Dumas in the sister car and was leading until his first pit stop after 33 laps. However, only one lap later he had a puncture, the tyre came off the rim and he had to limp back to the pits.
He dropped down to sixth. After 66 laps Timo Bernhard took over the car. He came in for fuel and tyres after 97 laps and handed the car over to Mark Webber at the end of lap 128. After lap 159 the Porsche 919 Hybrid with Webber driving came in for the final pit stop for fuel and tyres and remained sixth until the finish line.
“The weekend ended with a podium finish for our prototype in the LMP1 class and a one-two for the 911 RSR in the GTE category”, so Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Board, Research and Development, Porsche AG. “Of course, it is a shame we had that puncture on car number 20, and the damaged tyre unfortunately dropped us back one lap. Nevertheless: pole position and a podium in LMP1 and a one-two in GT made it a very good weekend.”
For more quotes, go to the press releases (Downloads).
1. Makowiecki/Pilet (F/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 167 laps
2. Bergmeister/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 167
3. Rigon/Calado (I/GB), Ferrari F458 Italia, 166
4. MacDowall/O’Young/Rees (GB/HK/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 166
5. Turner/Mücke (GB/D), Aston Martin Vantage, 123
1. Davidson/Buemi (GB/CH), Toyota TS040 Hybrid, 188 laps
2. Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima (A/F/J), Toyota TS040 Hybrid, – 1.12,564 min
3. Dumas/Jani/Lieb (F/CH/D), Porsche 919 Hybrid, – 1 lap
4. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (CH/D/F), Audi R18 e-tron quattro, – 1 lap
5. Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen (BRA/F/DK), Audi R18 e-tron quattro, – 1 lap
6. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (D/NZ/AUS), Porsche 919 Hybrid, – 2 laps