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Nürburgring Post-Race Notebook

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

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

***Both of the Audi R18s battled downforce issues in the second half of the race, with the No. 7 car having changed its nose with 1 hour and 45 minutes to go in an effort to recover lost downforce. Loic Duval said post-race they didn’t have time to change the nose on the eventual runner-up finishing No. 8 Audi.

***Audi Sport Team Joest has received a 5,000 Euro fine after it was found in post-race scrutineering that the homologation document describing the rear skid block of the No. 8 Audi R18 was insufficiently completed. Per the FIA, the German manufacturer must complete this “administrative obligation” within the next eight days.

***The flash fire on the No. 67 Ford GT in the second hour of the race was caused by a tie wrap that got stuck in the fuel valve, according to Andy Priaulx, who escaped injury in the incident. The Priaulx, Marino Franchitti and Harry Tincknell-driven entry finished seventh in class after losing 15 laps in two separate trips to the garage to fix the issue.

***Two other cars caught fire in the race as well. The No. 88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR had a small pit fire, while the No. 4 ByKolles Racing CLM P1/01 AER had its third blaze in the last five weeks, with Oliver Webb having come to a halt on track. Webb was treated for burns to his hand.

***The No. 66 Ford GT lost a likely GTE-Pro class podium finish when it was forced to serve a late-race drive-through penalty due to the unsafe release of the safety harness during Stefan Muecke’s pit stop. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing spent a considerable amount of time lobbying with officials on the penalty before having Olivier Pla serve the costly penalty, which promoted the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE to third at the finish.

***A number of drivers spoke out post-race about the Full Course Yellow procedure, which gives an advantage to well-timed pit stops, as seen on a number of occasions on Sunday. “We all go to so much effort as drivers,” Mark Webber said. “The drivers are at a phenomenal level and the preparation of the car is unbelievable. And then we have a 40-second swing through a car pitting. Irrespective of who it is, whether it’s us or if it’s them. We need to work on a better solution for that.”

***Gianmaria Bruni’s 13th career class victory on Sunday puts the Italian as sole leader in series wins, after having been tied with Roman Rusinov entering the weekend. It was Bruni’s first win since Fuji 2015. Bruni teamed with James Calado, who scored his long-awaited first career WEC win.

***The WEC confirmed on Saturday that the 2016 Six Hours of Nürburgring will take place on July 14-16, 2017, one week earlier than this year’s event. It is the third WEC race to be confirmed for 2017, joining Silverstone (April 14-16) and Le Mans (June 17-18).

***It’s understood no major changes will be made to the 2017 schedule, which is expected to remain at nine rounds in the traditional calendar year format, despite the championship’s previous desire to eventually turn the WEC into a winter series.

***This weekend’s Six Hours of Nürburgring saw a weekend reported attendance of 58,000 people, down from last year’s 62,000 spectators for the inaugural event.

***A number of drivers with previous A1GP experience, including Oliver Jarvis and Adam Carroll, who won races in Mexico in 2007 and 2008, respectively, will be among the select few with knowledge of Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the next stop on the WEC calendar. The circuit, however, has undergone revisions since that time.

***It’s unclear how many more WEC races Nick Heidfeld will contest this season. The ex-F1 ace is set to concentrate on his driving duties in Formula E. Rebellion Racing team manager Bart Hayden said the No. 12 car could be crewed by only Nico Prost and Mathias Beche at some races, or with an additional driver.

Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report.

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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