Toyota wins again in Shanghai

The #8 Toyota hounds the #2 Porsche
The #8 Toyota hounds the #2 Porsche

Toyota lapped Porsche to win Sunday’s Six Hours of Shanghai WEC race, but a costly error by Jose Maria Lopez ultimately gave Porsche enough points to clinch the Manufacturers’ title.

A second place finish for Porsche drivers Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber, meanwhile, locked up the Drivers’ World Championship giving Porsche a sweep of both titles.

The No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi took the win by one lap ahead of Bernhard, who inherited the Manufacturers’ Championship-clinching runner-up position following a late-race crash from the lead by Lopez.

The Argentinean overshot the entry into Turn 2, slamming into the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR and damaging the left-rear suspension and driveshaft. It cost Toyota a sure-fire 1-2 finish.

Lopez, who also spun in the opening hour after contact with a LMP2 car, finished seven laps behind in fourth after a trip to the garage for repairs from the final hour accident.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]A ten-second post-race time penalty was added to the No. 7 Toyota for Lopez’s collision.

Up front, it marked Buemi and co-drivers Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima’s fourth win of the season and second straight after taking top honors in last month’s rain-shortened Six Hours of Fuji.

The No. 1 Porsche of Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy and Neel Jani finished third, despite a throttle issue that saw Tandy nearly stop on track in the opening hour and drop more than 80 seconds behind.

Both Porsches struggled to match the pace of the Toyotas all race, with the No. 2 car falling a lap down by the fourth hour.

Bernhard and Hartley become the first-ever two-time World Champions in the WEC, with double Le Mans winner Bamber earning his maiden world title.

The #2 Porsche drivers clinched the drivers title
The #2 Porsche drivers clinched the drivers title

It also marked Porsche’s third consecutive drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships, in its final year of LMP1 competition.

Vaillante Rebellion claimed its third class win in the last four races, taking over the LMP2 championship lead as a result of a turbulent race for Jackie Chan DC Racing.

Bruno Senna pedaled the No. 13 Oreca 07 Gibson to a 35.280-second margin over the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson of Nico Lapierre in second, following drama for the No. 38 DC Racing entry, which faded to fourth in the end.

Two costly spins for Ho-Pin Tung, both triggered by other cars that later received penalties, as well as a fuel-only stop in the final 30 minutes, took the Chinese squad out of contention in the race.

Senna and co-drivers Nico Prost and Julien Canal now hold a 4 point lead over Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent heading into the title-deciding Six Hours of Bahrain later this month.

The sister No. 13 Rebellion entry completed the class podium on Sunday, thanks to a late charge by Nelson Piquet Jr.

Quotes

Winning drivers Davidson, Buemi and Nakajima
Winning drivers Davidson, Buemi and Nakajima

Sebastien Buemi (TS050 HYBRID #8): “It’s an amazing result for our car. We had a great fight with the sister car and it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t bring home a one-two. It’s been a great job from the team to strike back from some difficult races with back-to-back wins. Hopefully we can fight for a fifth win in Bahrain and have more wins than Porsche this season. For now let’s celebrate the win and enjoy the last fight in Bahrain."

Anthony Davidson (TS050 HYBRID #8): “It’s great to get a win again after actually driving the car, unlike in Fuji! I can properly celebrate this one. The car was great. We struggled a bit compared to #7 in qualifying but we had the best car in the race. I want to say thanks to our car crew because we had the right strategy and strong pit stops. That gave us the platform to win today."

Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8): “Many thanks to the team for giving us such a good car and well to the pit stop crew. My team-mates did a great job but I suffered a lot in the car, with the traffic and all the rubber on track. I lost a bit of time but managed to survive and we had the speed to win by a lap. I am happy with the race result and now the target is to win again in Bahrain."

RESULTS

Pos No. Class Driver Team Car Laps Behind
1 8 LMP1 S.Buemi, A.Davidson, K.Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota 195 0.000s
2 2 LMP1 T.Bernhard, E.Bamber, B.Hartley Porsche LMP Team Porsche 194 1 Lap
3 1 LMP1 N.Jani, A.Lotterer, N.Tandy Porsche LMP Team Porsche 194 1 Lap
4 7 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota Racing Toyota 188 7 Laps
5 31 LMP2 J.Canal, N.Prost, B.Senna Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 183 12 Laps
6 36 LMP2 N.Lapierre, G.Menezes, A.Negrao Signatech Alpine Alpine/Gibson 183 12 Laps
7 13 LMP2 M.Beche, D.H.Hansson, N.Piquet Jr. Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 182 13 Laps
8 38 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, O.Jarvis, T.Laurent Jackie Chan DC ORECA/Gibson 182 13 Laps
9 25 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, S.Trummer, V.Petrov CEFC Manor TRS ORECA/Gibson 182 13 Laps
10 28 LMP2 F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, E.Collard TDS Racing ORECA/Gibson 182 13 Laps
11 26 LMP2 R.Rusinov, L.Roussel, N.Muller G-Drive Racing ORECA/Gibson 181 14 Laps
12 37 LMP2 D.Cheng, A.Brundle, T.Gommendy Jackie Chan DC ORECA/Gibson 181 14 Laps
13 24 LMP2 M.Rao, B.Hanley, J-E.Vergne CEFC Manor TRS ORECA/Gibson 181 14 Laps
14 67 GTE Pro A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Ford 170 25 Laps
15 91 GTE Pro R.Lietz, F.Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 170 25 Laps
16 51 GTE Pro J.Calado, A.P.Guidi AF Corse Ferrari 170 25 Laps
17 66 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Ford 170 25 Laps
18 95 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Aston Martin 170 25 Laps
19 71 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 170 25 Laps
20 97 GTE Pro D.Turner, J.Adam Aston Martin Aston Martin 170 25 Laps
21 98 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Aston Martin 166 29 Laps
22 86 GTE Am K.Al Qubaisi, B.Barker, N.Foster Gulf Racing Porsche 165 30 Laps
23 77 GTE Am C.Ried, M.Cairoli, M.Dienst Dempsey-Proton Porsche 164 31 Laps
24 61 GTE Am Mok W.S., K.Sawa, M.Griffin Clearwater Racing Ferrari 158 37 Laps
25 54 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre Porsche GT Team Porsche 65 DNF
26 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, M.Molina Spirit of Race Ferrari 37 DNF

On Board the #38 with Ho Pin Tung

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