Porsche win to claim Manufactures’ title

posted in: LMGTE-Am, LMGTE-Pro, LMP1, LMP2, Race, Report, WEC, WEC-Magazin | 0

Porsche come first and sec­ond for the fifth time run­ning in the WEC this year to claim the man­u­fac­tures’ world cham­pi­onship in a race where fan­tas­tic strat­e­gy and late dra­ma played a part. We take a look at the final three hours of the race.

2015 shanghai winnersThe final half of the race start­ed with a trio of pit stops, Audi tak­ing tires on their #7 car, how­ev­er Porsche not on their #17 car. Mean­ing that the lead went to the #18 Porsche, the #17 held sec­ond place, which is cru­cial in terms of cham­pi­onship points. The third of which  was a brave call from Toy­ota to put on the slick tires on the #1 car of Sebas­t­ian Bue­mi.

Porsche’s dou­ble stint gam­ble end­ed up find­ing the floor in their plan when the dri­vers report­ed back that their tires were over heat­ing and at the end of their life. How­ev­er, it was too ear­ly for slicks, as Bue­mi proved in his Toy­ota, strug­gling to get heat into his Michelin’s. How­ev­er, Buemi’s times soon improved to faster than that of his team mates, around the same time that Audi put inter­me­di­ate tires on the #7 car with Porsche will scrab­bling for grip on and off track up front.

BRUNDLE 2015How­ev­er, despite the Audi to Porsche tire dif­fer­ence, the lap times were still the same, mean­ing the gap stayed the same. As the race pro­gressed it seemed like at the front Porsche had got the strat­e­gy just right, and were going to take the win, although there was to be dra­ma fur­ther down the order.

In LMP1’s pri­vater divi­sion the lead­ing Rebel­lion of Math­ias Beche dropped the car and threw it into the wall in a big way, forc­ing a body­work change with min­ut­ed left on the life of the race. This hand­ed the lead to the sis­ter Rebel­lion car that then in turn fal­tered with a mat­ter of sec­onds left on the clock, hand­ing the win back to Beche, Prost and Hei­d­feld.

LMP2 had an even lat­er change at the sharp end of the stand­ings. The #28 G-Dri­ve car was set for third place inside the final minute and on the last lap. How­ev­er a spin at turn 1 saw all title hopes end in the grav­el trap at turn 1. This hand­ed third place to the KCMG team who’s race long recov­ery dri­ve was reward­ed with third place with a mat­ter of sec­onds left on the clock.

2015 shanghai LMP2 winnersThe LMP2 win was the first of the sea­son for the Alpine team, and a debut win for Tom Dill­man aboard that effort. Nel­son Pan­ci­ati­ci and Paul-Loup Chatin were the oth­er two dri­vers in that car.  They led the #26 G-Dri­ve Ligi­er of Sam Bird, Julien Canal and Roman Rusi­nov to con­firm their sta­tus as class title favorites lat­er in the month. Alex Brun­dle end­ed up fifth on his rac­ing return.

GTE-PRO was anoth­er Porsche vic­to­ry, but this time not a 1–2. The #51 Fer­rari of Bruni and Vilan­der split the Man­they Porsches at the line to keep them­selves in the math­e­mat­i­cal hunt for the title, How­ev­er Richard Lietz is in the posi­tion of favorite ahead of the decider. Third place went to the #92 Man­they Porsche ahead of the #71 AF Corse Fer­rari. In the bat­tle of the Aston Mar­tins at the back, the #99 car of Mac­Dowall, Stan­away and Rees lead home the #97 of Turn­er and Adam, with the #95 miss­ing this round.

2015-6-Heures-de-Shanghai-Adrenal-Media-ND5-3775_hdIn GTE-AM a fan­tas­tic dri­ve led to vic­to­ry for Fran­cois Per­ro­do, Emmanuel Col­lard and Rui Aguas in the #83 AF Corse Fer­rari. Dal­la Lana, Lamy and Lau­da picked up sec­ond in their Aston Mar­tin, while third place went to Le Mans win­ners SMP Rac­ing thanks to anoth­er great recov­ery by Vic­tor Shay­tar, Andrea Bertoli­ni and Alek­sey Basov.

2015 shanghai GTE AM winnersFinal­ly, LMP1 was vic­to­ry for the #17 Porsche for the fourth time run­ning ahead of the #18 as ever. With Lot­ter­er, Tre­luy­er and Fassler fin­ish­ing in third, this means that the Porsche team con­sol­i­date their lead in the dri­vers’ cham­pi­onship. Fourth went to the #8 Audi, while the #2 Toy­ota lead last years win­ners home in sixth.

Thanks to the Porsche trio of Web­ber, Hart­ley and Bern­hard win­ning this race, no mat­ter what Lot­ter­er, Tre­luy­er and Fassler do in Bahrain lat­er this month, third posi­tion will be enough to win the dri­vers’ world cham­pi­onship. Only time will tell if the #7 or #17 will go down in his­to­ry as the 2015 world cham­pi­ons.

Images — FIA WEC Press Mate­r­i­al