Porsche profit from Audi travails to take win

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The #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Timo Bern­hard, Bren­don Hart­ley and Mark Web­ber secured a hard-fought vic­to­ry at the 6 Hours of the Cir­cuit of the Amer­i­c­as on Sat­ur­day, but the final results only tell half the sto­ry. The pair of Audi Sport Team Joest R18s had been the class of the field up until the halfway point, but tech­ni­cal issues for the lead­ing #8 car of Lucas di Gras­si, Loic Duval and Oliv­er Jarvis put paid to what appeared to be a com­fort­able vic­to­ry.

The #8 car’s lead of over 2 min­utes was erad­i­cat­ed, with the #1 Porsche inher­it­ing the lead but com­ing under severe pres­sure from the #7 Audi of Mar­cel Fässler, André Lot­ter­er and Benoit Tréluy­er. Then, with just 1 hour and 40 min­utes of the race remain­ing, Tréluy­er clipped one of the Fords going through turn 9 and end­ed up in the bar­ri­ers to end a mis­er­able day for the Ingol­stadt-based man­u­fac­tur­er.

Despite pres­sure from the recov­er­ing #8 Audi and the chas­ing #6 Toy­ota GAZOO Rac­ing TS050 of Mike Con­way, Kamui Kobayashi and Stéphane Sar­razin, the #1 car held on to record its third vic­to­ry in suc­ces­sion – bring­ing it right back into cham­pi­onship con­tention with three rounds remain­ing. The #8 crew drove well after their ear­li­er issues to fin­ish sec­ond, with the #6 Toy­ota cross­ing the line in third posi­tion.

LMP1-L saw the #13 Rebel­lion Rac­ing take the race win some 4 laps ahead of the #4 ByKolles Rac­ing Team CLM P1/01, which had suf­fered mechan­i­cal issues mid­way through the race.

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In LMP2, the race was dom­i­nat­ed by the pole-sit­ting #36 Sig­nat­e­ch Alpine A460 of Nico­las Lapierre, Gus­ta­vo Menezes and Stéphane Richel­mi. The French-entered machine led through­out the race and wrapped up its fourth vic­to­ry of the sea­son ahead of RGR Sport by Morand – win­ners last time out in Mex­i­co – and the G-Dri­ve Rac­ing Ore­ca. The #44 Manor Ore­ca and the #42 Strak­ka Rac­ing Gib­son were the race’s only two retirees

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GTE Pro pro­vid­ed a race-long bat­tle between the pole-sit­ting #95 Aston Mar­tin Rac­ing crew of Nicky Thi­im and Mar­co Sørensen and the #51 AF Corse Fer­rari 488 of Gian­maria Bruni and James Cal­a­do. The all-Dan­ish deliv­ered a flaw­less race from pole to take the win, Aston’s sec­ond in suc­ces­sive races, with the #51 car just 11 sec­onds behind at the che­quered flag. The sis­ter #71 AF Corse car round­ed off a suc­cess­ful week­end for AF Corse and kept AMR’s lead at the top of the GT man­u­fac­tur­ers’ cham­pi­onship to just six points.

Aston Mar­tin Rac­ing also took the hon­ours in GTE Am, this time in the hands of Paul Dal­la Lana, Matthias Lau­da and Pedro Lamy. Start­ing from pole, the #98 car nev­er looked back and record­ed an ulti­mate­ly com­fort­able vic­to­ry in the Tex­an heat around one minute ahead of the #78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR and the #50 Lar­bre Com­pe­ti­tion Corvette C7.R.

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