Porsche completes Nürburgring hat-trick

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The #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Bren­don Hart­ley, Timo Bern­hard and Earl Bam­ber took vic­to­ry at the 6 Hours of the Nür­bur­gring on Sun­day after a tough bat­tle against the sis­ter car and the Toy­otas.

The Porsche team had shown sol­id pace in free prac­tice, but were sec­ond-best to the Toy­otas in qual­i­fy­ing and start­ed from sec­ond and third on the grid. The #7 Toy­ota TS050 of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Con­way and José-Maria Lopez defend­ed its lead in the first third of the race but suf­fered a loss of pace from the halfway point, with what proved to be body­work dam­aged caused by the Nür­bur­gring curbs.

The sis­ter Toy­ota, dri­ven by Antho­ny David­son, Sébastien Bue­mi and Kazu­ki Naka­ji­ma also suf­fered from mechan­i­cal ail­ments, los­ing dri­ve dur­ing the parade lap and spend­ing much of the race in the pits. It was lat­er able to return to the track and recov­ered fourth posi­tion on the road to secure valu­able points for the Japan­ese man­u­fac­tur­er

The #1 Porsche led the race in the clos­ing stages, but con­tro­ver­sial­ly hand­ed the lead to the cham­pi­onship-lead­ing #2 car for max­i­mum points in the title bat­tle and Porsche’s third vic­to­ry in three years at the ‘Ring. André Lot­ter­er, Nick Tandy and Neel Jani came in sec­ond, ahead of the #7 Toy­ota.

Le Mans win­ners Bren­don Hart­ley, Timo Bern­hard and Earl Bam­ber secured vic­to­ry at the 6 Hours of the Nür­bur­gring and extend­ed their lead at the head of the cham­pi­onship.

In GTE Pro, it was the Porsche GT Team that strug­gled. Start­ing first and third on the grid, the pair of Porsche 911 RSRs were swamped by the duo of Aston Mar­tin Van­tages. The Porsches regained the lead as the race pro­gressed, and a race-long bat­tle ensued between them, the #95 Aston Mar­tin and the #51 AF Corse Fer­rari, which came back into con­tention after a smart strat­e­gy by the Ital­ian squad.

In the end, James Cal­a­do and Alessan­dro Per Gui­di took the vic­to­ry for AF Corse by 50 sec­onds ahead of the #91 Porsche of Richard Lietz and Fred Mack­owiec­ki.

Jack­ie Chan DC Rac­ing car­ried on in LMP2 where they left off at Le Mans – secur­ing pole posi­tion and vic­to­ry at the Nür­bur­gring after a com­mand­ing per­for­mance in Ger­many. The #38 car of Oliv­er Jarvis, Ho Ping Tung and Thomas Lau­rent led the race by a minute at the halfway point, but came under increas­ing pres­sure from the chas­ing #31 Vail­lainte Rebel­lion and the #36 Sig­nat­e­ch Alpine Mat­mut machines. How­ev­er, the #38 car regained its advan­tage and took a com­fort­able vic­to­ry by one lap ahead of the #31 and #36 cars to extend its cham­pi­onship lead.

Vic­to­ry in GTE Am went to the Dempsey-Pro­ton team, with Mat­teo Cairoli, Chris­t­ian Ried and Mar­vin Dienst recov­er­ing from a dif­fi­cult start to emerge on top ahead of the Spir­it of Race Fer­rari. The #98 Aston Mar­tin Van­tage fin­ished third.

Images © WEC-Mag­a­zin