Shanghai WEC: Porsche seals both titles despite Toyota win

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Shanghai WEC: Porsche seals both titles despite Toyota win
Jamie Klein
By: Jamie Klein
Co-author: Gary Watkins
Nov 5, 2017, 9:02 AM

Porsche sealed both the FIA World Endurance Championship drivers' and manufacturers' crowns in Shanghai, despite rival Toyota taking victory in the penultimate round of the season.

Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber only needed a third-place finish to wrap up the drivers' title in the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, and sealed the crown after finishing a lapped second behind the #8 Toyota of Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson.

Drama for the sister TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez cost the Japanese manufacturer any chance of keeping the manufacturers' contest open.

The #7 machine had been leading the #8 car by less than two seconds going into the final half-hour, heading a 1-2 that would have prevented Porsche from taking both titles in China.

But, contact between Lopez and the #91 Porsche GTE entry of Richard Lietz at Turn 13 gave the race-leading car a puncture, as well as driveshaft and suspension damage, necessitating a trip to the pits.

Porsche only needed to get one its cars into second place to guarantee the manufacturers' crown, and the #7 car's incident allowed the #2 to take the position.

The #1 Porsche of Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy completed the podium in third in a race in which the Toyotas had a clear edge over the German manufacturer. 

Both 919 Hybrids were a lap down after four hours of the race, and an engine sensor issue in the opening hour resulted in more than a minute lost for the #1 trio.

Lotterer, however, was only 20s behind Bernhard in the #2 at the finish. 

Repairs to the #7 Toyota cost it seven laps and left it down in fourth at the chequered flag. 

Rebellion takes LMP2 points lead

Rebellion took honours in LMP2 with the #13 Oreca of Bruno Senna, Julien Canal and Nicolas Prost, claiming the class championship lead with one round to go.

Senna had dominated the opening hour and a half of the race, but had to come from behind to take victory and the points lead from the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry. 

The Brazilian passed Ho-Pin Tung for the lead with just under an hour to go at the end of an eventful race for the car the Chinese driver shared with Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent. 

Tung had two incidents not of his making that resulted in spins, being tagged by Ben Hanley in the #24 Manor entry and then Nico Muller in the #26 G-Drive car.

He dropped behind Nicolas Lapierre in the #36 Signatech Alpine and then Nelson Piquet Jr in the second Rebellion entry, fourth place leaving the #38 trio four points behind Senna and Canal.

Ford grabs GTE Pro honours

Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell claimed GTE Pro honours after a prolonged battle with the #91 Porsche 911 RSR that Lietz shared with Frederic Makowiecki. 

Priaulx was able to pass Makowiecki for the lead in the fourth hour and then Tincknell fought a successful rearguard action against Lietz prior to his hit from Lopez. 

The Porsche faded in the final laps after the contact, ending up nine seconds down at the finish. 

Porsche's #92 entry looked on course for victory with the sister car driven by Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen, only for engine issues to put the car out early in the third hour. 

Third place for the #51 Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi was enough for the Italian manufacturer to take the GT manufacturers' crown with a round to spare.

Aston Martin drivers Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana had an easy run to victory in GTE Am as its nearest rivals, the Spirit of Race and Clearwater Ferraris, were caught up in incidents.

Race results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassLapsTime
1 8 united_kingdom Anthony Davidson 
japan Kazuki Nakajima 
switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 195  
2 2 germany Timo Bernhard 
new_zealand Brendon Hartley 
new_zealand Earl Bamber 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 194 1 lap
3 1 germany Andre Lotterer 
switzerland Neel Jani 
united_kingdom Nick Tandy 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 194 1 lap
4 7 japan Kamui Kobayashi 
united_kingdom Mike Conway 
argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 188 7 laps
5 31 brazil Bruno Senna 
france Julien Canal 
france Nicolas Prost 
Oreca 07 LMP2 183 12 laps
6 36 france Nicolas Lapierre 
brazil Andre Negrao 
united_states Gustavo Menezes 
Alpine A470 LMP2 183 35.280
7 13 brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. 
denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
switzerland Mathias Beche 
Oreca 07 LMP2 182 13 laps
8 38 united_kingdom Oliver Jarvis 
china Ho-Pin Tung 
france Thomas Laurent 
Oreca 07 LMP2 182 16.487
9 25 russia Vitaly Petrov 
switzerland Simon Trummer 
mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 182 45.419
10 28 france François Perrodo 
france Emmanuel Collard 
france Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 LMP2 182 1'18.397
11 26 russia Roman Rusinov 
france Leo Roussel 
switzerland Nico Müller 
Oreca 07 LMP2 181 14 laps
12 37 china David Cheng 
france Tristan Gommendy 
united_kingdom Alex Brundle 
Oreca 07 LMP2 181 3.233
13 24 france Jean-Eric Vergne 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
united_kingdom Matt Rao 
Oreca 07 LMP2 181 32.611
14 67 united_kingdom Harry Tincknell 
guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 170 25 laps
15 91 austria Richard Lietz 
france Frédéric Makowiecki 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 170 11.082
16 51 united_kingdom James Calado 
italy Alessandro Pier Guidi 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 170 19.920
17 66 germany Stefan Mücke 
france Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 170 38.739
18 95 denmark Marco Sorensen 
denmark Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 170 1'07.541
19 71 united_kingdom Sam Bird 
italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 170 1'08.317
20 97 united_kingdom Darren Turner 
united_kingdom Jonathan Adam 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 170 1'49.054
21 98 portugal Pedro Lamy 
canada Paul Dalla Lana 
austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 166 29 laps
22 86 united_arab_emirates Khaled Al Qubaisi 
united_kingdom Ben Barker 
united_kingdom Nick Foster 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 165 30 laps
23 77 germany Christian Ried 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
germany Marvin Dienst 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 164 31 laps
24 61 ireland Matt Griffin 
singapore Mok Weng Sun 
japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 158 37 laps
25 92 denmark Michael Christensen 
france Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 65 130 laps
26 54 italy Francesco Castellacci 
spain Miguel Molina 
switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 37 158 laps
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