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Porsche Claims Maiden Win in Incident-Filled 6H Sao Paulo

Porsche claims first overall victory in FIA WEC…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Porsche has claimed its first overall victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship following an action-packed and incident-filled season-ending Six Hours of Sao Paulo.

Neel Jani took the No. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid to the monumental win, in a race that ended under the safety car following a heavy crash by teammate Mark Webber in the final 30 minutes of the race.

Webber escaped serious injury in the high-speed impact, which also collected a GTE-Am class Ferrari, although the track was unable to be fully cleaned for the race to restart.

Aside from the late-race crash, Porsche enjoyed a breakout race, with the No. 20 car of Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard leading the opening hours.

However, an intense battle for the lead developed between all six of the factory LMP1-H entries through the middle stages, with Toyota and Audi also enjoying time out front.

The key, however, came with the No. 14 Porsche’s ability to double stint tires, which helped put Jani and co-drivers Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb marginally ahead of the others, despite getting off sequence on stops early due to a puncture.

Jani held a 14-second gap over the No. 8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson prior to the race-ending safety car with 28 minutes remaining on the clock.

It marked Porsche’s first overall prototype win in a long distance sports car race since 1989 and the first outright victory for the German manufacturer since the RS Spyder in the American Le Mans Series.

Ironically, Dumas was part of the winning lineup for the RS Spyder’s first overall win at Mid-Ohio in 2006.

Newly crowned drivers’ World Champions Davidson and Sebastien Buemi came home second, which was enough for Toyota to claim the Manufacturer’s World Championship for the first time.

The No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Loic Duval, Lucas di Grassi and Tom Kristensen, in his final race, completed the overall podium in third, following a memorable closing double stint for the nine-time Le Mans winner.

Kristensen closed out his storied career with his 54th career podium in an Audi, fifteen years after giving the automaker its first race victory at Sebring in 2000.

The No. 7 Toyota and No. 2 Audi completed the top-five overall and in class, following one of the most intense races in recent history, which saw four of the six LMP1-H cars lead at one stage and often all separated by less than one minute.

Rebellion Racing, meanwhile, took LMP1-L honors with its No. 13 Rebellion R-One Toyota of Dominik Kraihamer, Andrea Belicchi and Fabio Leimer.

It came after issues for the sister No. 12 entry, which made a trip to the garage early. The No. 9 Lotus CLM P1/01 AER battled gearbox issues.

RESULTS: Six Hours of Sao Paulo

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

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Bobby_997

    November 30, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    What a lame victory, i was hoping for a 3 way battle between Porsche, Toyota, and Audi to the check checkered flag but WEC decided to throw Porsche a bone. Come on they had over 30 mins to clean the debris and if there was so much debris why don’t they stop the race and restart it? I feel WEC handed the win to them and i’m a huge Porsche fan.

  2. DeeCee333

    November 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    The race should have been Red-flagged and the remaining 30 minutes resuming after the clean up.
    I despise events that end under caution. It makes for a hollow victory for not only the Drivers, but the fans too.

    • Dan

      November 30, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Well your just going to have to get over it and move on with your life.

  3. Louis

    November 30, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    I’m sure it’s just a typo but i believe porsche’s last overall victory in a major endurance race was 1998 (LeMans) not 1989.

    • Alfredo

      November 30, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      Yes, you’re right! Porsche’snlast overall victory in a long distance sports car race dates from the 1998 24h of Le Mans, with a Laurent Aïello, Allan McNish and
      Stéphane Ortelli-driven 911 GT1. It was also the last overall win for a GT machine at Le Mans.

      • MDR

        November 30, 2014 at 6:19 pm

        Porsche scored their last world championship victory in Dijon 1989, but yeah, that definitely wasn’t the last major international race they won.

      • JAGLeMans

        November 30, 2014 at 6:42 pm

        ’89 was Porsche’s last World Championship win, by the Joest 962 at Dijon

        • JAGLeMans

          November 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm

          Ha, sorry MDR, your post was cut off on my tablet.

          • John Dagys

            November 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm

            Porsche’s official statement is that the last international prototype victory came at Dijon in 1989… The 1998 Le Mans win technically came in a “GT” car as it was the GT1 class back then.

  4. Alfredo

    November 30, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Did anyone else noticed that the #37 SMP Oreca was stoped on the side of the race track all the race?? Why didn`t they remove the car??

  5. Chase

    November 30, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    congrats to Porsche on their first win back, but WEC kinda gave you that one, no way they would have held off the #8 Toyota if they restarted the race.

  6. Ernie2492

    December 1, 2014 at 12:35 am

    I feel sorry with Webber & G-Drive..

  7. Louis

    December 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    John Dagys, That makes too much sense!

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