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COTA WEC Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from WEC 6H COTA…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Circuit of The Americas announced the weekend attendance as 58,400 spectators, marking an increase over last year’s reported 50,000 fans. However, that would appear to be an optimistic estimate judging by the size of the crowd, particularly on Saturday.

***FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu told Sportscar365 they expect to keep the same-day TUDOR United SportsCar Championship/WEC race format for next year, although hoping to continue to build the audience for the event.

***Neveu confirmed they had been in discussions with Indianapolis Motor Speedway for an event in 2016, which did not materialize. “We had a very good contact with Indianapolis,” he told Sportscar365. “But we have a current contract [at COTA]. We don’t see what could be better in Indianapolis compared to COTA. There’s no special reason to change.”

***The WEC had also been in discussions with Monza for potential race and official pre-season test dates. Neveu said a race at the famed Italian track was not possible due the renewal of the Nürburgring event, which maintains the series-imposed maximum of four European rounds.

***Additionally, with the Prologue set to take place on Easter weekend, Neveu said it would not have been possible to move the pre-season test to Monza, despite having been initially considered.

***Pierre Kaffer stood on the podium twice on Saturday, finishing second in the TUDOR Championship race with Risi Competizione and taking his second consecutive LMP1 Privateer class win with ByKolles that evening.

***Kaffer will again be pulling double-duty during the Fuji weekend, where the German confirmed to Sportscar365 that he’ll be a part of ARC Bratislava’s Asian Le Mans Series effort with an Audi R8 LMS in the GT class.

***Ed Brown had a scary end to his race when brake issues, caused by tire pick up, saw the No. 31 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2 Honda launch over a curb and slam into the Turn 20 barriers in the second hour. It marked the team’s first DNF of the season.

***ESM’s sister No. 30 entry of Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp and David Heinemeier Hansson, however, scored a season-best fourth place finish in class, after making a last-lap pass for position by Dalziel, who also led the race in the opening hour.

***A problem with the door on the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia of Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander saw the defending GTE-Pro champions slip from podium contention to a seventh place finish in class, losing further ground in the title race.

***At a moment in the race, Porsche cars were 1-2 in each of the LMP1, GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes, marking a first in the history of the WEC. The German manufacturer went onto claim overall victory, while also maintaining its top-two sweep in GTE-Pro.

***Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler’s lead in the Drivers’ World Championship has shrunk to 10 points over Porsche’s Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber, who collected their second consecutive victory on Saturday. Porsche has extended its lead in the Manufacturers’ World Championship to 36 points over Audi.

***In GTE, Porsche has closed to within 2 points of Ferrari in the World Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers, thanks to Ricard Lietz and Michael Christensen’s class win. Lietz extended his championship lead over AF Corse’s James Calado and Davide Rigon to 11 points heading into next month’s Six Hours of Fuji.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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