Despite the two-month plus break since Le Mans, Porsche picked up where it left off in the 24-hour endurance classic by claiming a 1-2 finish on home soil in Sunday’s Six Hours of Nürburgring.
Mark Webber cruised to a dominant one-lap win in the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, following a near-flawless run for the No. 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
While the sister pole-sitting entry of Neel Jani led from the start, Brendon Hartley took over the lead in the second hour when the No. 18 entry was hit with the first of three penalties for exceeding fuel consumption.
The technical issues for the other Porsche, which were later resolved, gave Hartley, Webber and Timo Bernhard clear sailing, with Audi or Toyota unable to match the ultimate pace of the 919 Hybrids.
It marked all three drivers’ first overall wins in WEC competition, while the German manufacturer’s first LMP1/GTE-Pro sweep as well.
For Webber, the win comes at the same track where the Australian scored his first career F1 victory in 2009.
Despite losing significant ground after serving nearly three minutes of penalties for exceeding fuel consumption, the No. 18 Porsche of Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas charged to a second place result.
The No. 7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of championship leaders Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler was third, thanks to a late move by the German on teammate Lucas Di Grassi.
Di Grassi and co-drivers Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis were fourth, ahead of the best-placed Toyota four laps behind in fifth overall and in LMP1.
LMP1 Privateer was another battle of attrition, with Team ByKolles breaking through to score its first points of the season, thanks to a 18th overall finish for Pierre Kaffer and Simon Trummer’s CLM P1/01 AER.
The pairing benefited from misfortunes from both of the Rebellion R-One AERs, including the Le Mans class-winning No. 13 car, which only completed a single lap.
Like Porsche, KCMG also continued its good fortunes from Le Mans, with a commanding class win in LMP2.
Le Mans winner Nick Tandy took the No. 47 Oreca 05 Nissan to a 1-minute and 11-second victory over the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Sam Bird, in a race that was in control by the Hong Kong-backed squad from the onset.
Class polesitter Tandy stretched into an early lead, although a slow pit stop in the second hour saw G-Drive’s Roman Rusniov briefly take over the top spot.
Tandy and Richard Bradley shared class honors with fellow Brit Matt Howson, which has seen the team extend their lead in the championship.
G-Drive completed the class podium, with the No. 26 entry of Bird, Rusinov and Julien Canal ahead of teammates Pipo Derani, Gustavo Yacaman and Ricardo Gonzalez in third.
RESULTS: Six Hours of Nürburgring