Austin WEC: Team orders dictate order of another Porsche 1-2

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Austin WEC: Team orders dictate order of another Porsche 1-2
By: Gary Watkins
Sep 16, 2017, 11:24 PM

Porsche drivers Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber claimed a fourth straight FIA World Endurance Championship victory in Austin. 

Start: #1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy leads
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez
#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy
#36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson: Andre Negrao, Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre
#31 Vaillante Rebellion Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Julien Canal, Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost
#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen
#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen
#51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE: James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi
#54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE: Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci, Miguel Molina
Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber, Porsche Team
Start action
#2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley, #91 Porsche Team Porsche 911 RSR: Richard Lietz, Frédéric Makowiecki
Grid girls
Pre-race grid
#26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Roman Rusinov, Pierre Thiriet, Alex Lynn
#51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE: James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, Daniel Serra
#66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke

Bamber took the lead in the championship-leading #2 car with just eight minutes of the six-hour race to go, when Nick Tandy slowed and moved over in another display of team orders from Porsche in favour of its points-leading trio. 

Tandy, Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer had the edge on their teammates around the Circuit of the Americas on a day that Toyota kept the German cars honest – at least for the opening half of the race. 

Tandy moved over to let Bamber past for the first time with just over one hour to go, only to retake the lead when the #1 car needed less fuel at its final splash-and-dash pitstop.

He extended a narrow to lead to more than 10 seconds before backing off and then trailing the sister car across the line by just two tenths of a second. 

Bamber said: "Congratulations to the #1 car – they drove a great race and would have deserved victory. And Toyota kept us on our toes, too."

Toyota led the race after the first round of pitstops after its pair of TS050 Hybrids double stinted their tyres. 

The Toyotas remained within striking range through a mid-race safety car, though they ultimately didn't have the pace to challenge Porsche over the final third of the race. 

Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Stephane Sarrazin ended up third, just over 20s behind the winner. 

Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway were a similar margin back in fourth. 

First LMP2 win in 2017 for Signatech

Reigning LMP2 champion team Signatech Alpine finally chalked up its first class victory of the season despite a late-race scare. 

Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Andre Negrao dominated the P2 on the way to a 20s victory aboard their Alpine-badged Oreca 07.

They had been nearly a minute up until stopping to change the rear bodywork to rectify faulty brake lights with minutes to go.

Second and third positions were taken by the two Rebellion Orecas. 

Nelson Piquet Jr, Mathias Beche and David Heinemeier Hansson took second, while Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost and Julien Canal were third – just 3s in arrears after losing 20s in the pits. 

Ferrari beats Porsche in GTE Pro

James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi held on to take GTE Pro honours for the AF Corse Ferrari team despite twice losing a lead of more than half a minute. 

They lost their advantage with the safety car only to rebuild it before a late-race rear puncture brought Pier Guidi into the pits.

The Italian rejoined right in front of the second-placed Porsche of Michael Christensen, but Pier Guidi was to pull away to a five-second victory over the 911 RSR the Dane shared with Kevin Estre. 

Sam Bird and Davide Rigon complete the class podium in the second Ferrari 488, three seconds clear of the Aston Martin Vantage shared by Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim.

Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy came back from an early delay to notch up their second GTE Am win of the season for Aston Martin.

Dalla Lana needed a short trip into the garage to repair rear-end damage after he was hit by Francesco Castellacci's Spirit of Race Ferrari and spun, but still took class honours by 50 seconds from the Clearwater Racing Ferrari.

Race results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassTime/Gap
1 2 germany Timo Bernhard 
new_zealand Brendon Hartley 
new_zealand Earl Bamber 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 192 laps
2 1 germany Andre Lotterer 
switzerland Neel Jani 
united_kingdom Nick Tandy 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 0.276
3 8 france Stéphane Sarrazin 
japan Kazuki Nakajima 
switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 21.956
4 7 japan Kamui Kobayashi 
united_kingdom Mike Conway 
argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 35.026
5 36 france Nicolas Lapierre 
brazil Andre Negrao 
united_states Gustavo Menezes 
Alpine A470 LMP2 15 laps
6 13 brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. 
denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
switzerland Mathias Beche 
Oreca 07 LMP2 16 laps
7 31 brazil Bruno Senna 
france Julien Canal 
france Nicolas Prost 
Oreca 07 LMP2 3.775
8 38 united_kingdom Oliver Jarvis 
china Ho-Pin Tung 
france Thomas Laurent 
Oreca 07 LMP2 5.760
9 37 china David Cheng 
france Tristan Gommendy 
united_kingdom Alex Brundle 
Oreca 07 LMP2 17 laps
10 24 france Jean-Eric Vergne 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
united_kingdom Matt Rao 
Oreca 07 LMP2 25.144
11 28 france François Perrodo 
france Emmanuel Collard 
france Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 LMP2 18 laps
12 26 russia Roman Rusinov 
france Pierre Thiriet 
united_kingdom Alex Lynn 
Oreca 07 LMP2 24 laps
13 51 united_kingdom James Calado 
italy Alessandro Pier Guidi 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 25 laps
14 92 denmark Michael Christensen 
france Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 5.663
15 71 united_kingdom Sam Bird 
italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 31.194
16 95 denmark Marco Sorensen 
denmark Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 34.878
17 97 united_kingdom Darren Turner 
united_kingdom Jonathan Adam 
brazil Daniel Serra 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 1'50.831
18 91 austria Richard Lietz 
france Frédéric Makowiecki 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 26 laps
19 67 united_kingdom Harry Tincknell 
guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'11.110
20 66 germany Stefan Mücke 
france Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'40.235
21 98 portugal Pedro Lamy 
canada Paul Dalla Lana 
austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE AM 30 laps
22 61 ireland Matt Griffin 
singapore Mok Weng Sun 
japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 50.059
23 54 italy Francesco Castellacci 
spain Miguel Molina 
switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 33 laps
24 77 germany Christian Ried 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
germany Marvin Dienst 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 45 laps
25 86 united_kingdom Michael Wainwright 
united_kingdom Ben Barker 
united_kingdom Nick Foster 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 100 laps
26 25 russia Vitaly Petrov 
switzerland Simon Trummer 
mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 141 laps
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Bernhard column: Another win thanks to Porsche teamwork

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