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Porsche Takes Commanding Win at Nürburgring

Porsche takes commanding 1-2 win in 6H Nürburgring…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Porsche has taken a commanding 1-2 victory in Sunday’s Six Hours of Nürburgring, extending its lead in the FIA World Endurance Championship as a result of team orders.

Timo Bernhard drove the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid to a 1.606-second win over the sister entry of Andre Lotterer, who had the lead until the final fuel-only stops but spent 20 seconds longer in the pits.

The team decision sees Le Mans winners Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber extend their lead in the Drivers’ World Championship as a result.

It marked Bernhard and Porsche’s third consecutive win at the Nürburgring and the 15th win for the Porsche 919 Hybrid in WEC competition.

Additionally, it was Porsche’s first 1-2 finish since Shanghai 2015. 

The two Porsches swapped the lead throughout the rather uneventful six-hour race, and often times controlling the race over Toyota, which as expected, struggled for ultimate pace against Porsche’s new high downforce aero kit.

Despite having started from the pole, the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez finishing 1 minute and 3 seconds behind in third.

Kobayashi led the opening hour but lost ground during Lopez’s stint, with the Argentinean losing the top spot to Hartley in the second hour after struggling on double-stinted tires.

Trouble struck the No. 8 Toyota before the start of the race, with Sebastien Buemi slowing on the formation lap with fuel pump issues.

The car lost five laps undergoing repairs but still managed to finish fourth overall, although not playing a factor.

Jackie Chan DC Racing scored its third class win in four races this season in LMP2, with an equally dominant run by Oliver Jarvis, Thomas Laurent and Ho-Pin Tung.

Tung took the Jota Sport-run No. 38 Oreca 07 Gibson to a one-lap victory over the No. 31 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca of Bruno Senna in second.

The Brazilian led early but was overtaken by the pole-sitting DC Racing entry in the second hour, and never relinquished the lead again, despite having to change its rear-deck due to a non-functioning taillight. 

It marked back-to-back class wins for the trio, who claimed a historic second place overall finish at Le Mans last month.

Defending class champions Nico Lapierre and Gustavo Menezes, plus Matt Rao, completed the class podium in third in the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson.

The No. 4 ByKolles Racing ENSO CLM P1/01 NISMO soldiered home in 14th overall, 22 laps behind the overall race-winning Porsche, after weekend-long handling issues for the lone LMP1 Privateer entry.

RESULTS: 6H Nürburgring

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Tyler Sanders

    July 16, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Looks like Porsche is going to lock this WEC Championship up.

  2. JG

    July 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    This has got to be frustrating for ByKolles. Properly sorted the car is clearly faster than LMP2. Clearly not enough funding.

  3. NaBUru38

    July 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Team orders in endurance racing? This is absurd.

    FIA should drop the drivers championships, and keep the constructors or teams championships.

    This is a team sport, please!

    • FlyingLobster27

      July 16, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Man, is it still 2015? The championship battle is not poised, team orders so early is just absurd. If this is how it’s going to happen, I’m switching off. The WEC is at its most interesting in anticipation of Le Mans anyway.

      • Matt

        July 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm

        Nah IMSA definitely has better racing than the WEC.

    • Ton

      July 17, 2017 at 4:01 am

      This happened in 2015 as well. If I remember correctly it was at Cota. The 18 was in the lead, but the 17 needed the points. Clearly Neel Jani and co were not happy on the podium, while in Bahrein the 17 very much needed these points. The race was won by the 18 and Neel was much happier then when he said something like: We came second when we had to and we won when we had to. I think thats life when you are a factory driver. You got to race the best cars, but you have to listen to your boss.

      So yes, it is a team sport and both the #1 and the #2 are in the same team, so I don’t know whats wrong with that? Did it spoil the action on the track?

      • Travis McBee

        July 17, 2017 at 4:20 am

        To be correct; it was Fuji 2015 where Jani had to give up the lead to the sister car. They had an engine failure at COTA 2015 and finished 12th overall.

      • FlyingLobster27

        July 17, 2017 at 6:51 am

        I get picking a favourite at one point of the season, just not this early. There is still a long way to go, a streak of bad luck for #2 and the #1 could have been right back in it. Now, two-thirds of the season are just going to be a waste for the #1 car, they will only win when it’s convenient. Viewers can’t help but be cynical from now on, knowing that anything that looks like a fight between Porsches will be settled in a more or less subtle way.

        Does that spoil the action? It’s got to be a big YES from me, because I don’t enjoy feeling cynical, and I don’t enjoy the prospect of feeling that way for over half the season! In 2015, Audi and Porsche were both playing the team game, as early as the Nurburgring again, and after Fuji, I decided I just didn’t care how the races played out anymore, or who would win in the end, they were as bad as each other. If they want to play “who can fix the match better”, let ’em do it, but I won’t be watching.

        • Ton

          July 17, 2017 at 7:32 am

          I partly agree with you that if the #2 fails to score points in the coming races, Porsche would rather relocate these 7 points back to the #1. However I still think that this is the most sensible way to go forward for Porsche. In the end, they pay the bill and expect a championship in return.

          Anyway, a fight between Porsches will never be the same as a fight between a Porsche and a Toyota, no matter the championship standings.

          I am not too worried about it. In the end, Bahrain 2015 was still a worthy event in my book, a shame that you missed it;) Besides, there is much more than LMP1 to watch during a WEC race.

  4. Mike S.

    July 16, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Don’t worry plug in power in 1st km after each pitstop will solve all this!!!

  5. Mike S.

    July 16, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I like how it’s World Endurance and a few cars are skipping North American stops.

  6. Richard Reeves

    July 17, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Did anybody else watch the race on the WEC app? I’m still stunned that the two announcers, Moody and Goodwin, completely missed the drama (well, melodrama) of Porsche’s team orders switch at race’s end. When the #2 shockingly emerged in the lead after both cars did their splash-and-goes, they acted as if the #2 had been in the lead all along, rather than Lotterer in the #1! Even though they’d just finished saying, a minute before, as the #2 entered the pitlane, that their shorter pitstop (due to pitting one lap later than the #1) would not be enough to overcome what had been a five-second gap back to Lotterer.

    The announcers completely blew reporting on the relative lengths of the two pitstops, and then seemed confused about who had been in front prior to them. Horrible race reporting at the race’s most crucial moment! Guaranteed that if McNish had been in the booth he would have picked up on all facets of the surprising turn of events, and probably even deduced that it was down to Porsche team orders. McNish is as good in the booth as he was in the cockpit. The other two? Well, perhaps a six-hour race exceeded their nap times…

  7. WBrowning

    July 17, 2017 at 9:32 am

    I didn’t get to see the last hour because FS1 went to some NASCAR pre-pre-race show, and I couldn’t find the end of the race anywhere. Sucks!

    • Mike S.

      July 18, 2017 at 1:29 am

      Yeah good old FS. Yeah Hindhaugh would of gone absolutely bananas.

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