Porsche has clinched the FIA WEC Manufacturers World Championship with a commanding victory for Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard in Sunday’s Six Hours of Shanghai.
Hartley took the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid to a 59.785-second win over the No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Kamui Kobyashi, who like the sister third place-finishing No. 5 Toyota, took fuel-only in their final pit stops.
The German manufacturer’s sixth win of the season, and fourth in the last five races for Hartley, Webber and Bernhard, came in a flawless effort from all three drivers.
A nose change in the second hour, due to rubber buildup, was the only delay for the No. 1 car.
It marked Porsche’s second consecutive Manufacturer’s World Championship, having also clinched the title one race early in Shanghai last year.
Toyota’s fuel-only final stop could have put Kobayashi and co-drivers Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway into the mix for the win but for not two left-rear punctures earlier in the race, one requiring an unscheduled stop.
The No. 5 Toyota finished ahead of the championship-leading No. 2 Porsche of Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and Romain Dumas, who were unable to lock up the title with their fourth place finish.
It was another disaster of a race for Audi, with the title-contending No. 8 entry having a fuel rig issue from its second pit stop, after running second and within grasp of the No. 1 Porsche at the time.
Lucas Di Grassi, Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis soldiered home to finish fifth, three laps behind the winning Porsche, after contact with the sister No. 7 car in the fourth hour that sent both cars to the garage for repairs.
The No. 7 Audi was sixth at the line after lengthy repairs to its air jack system due to the contact.
ByKolles claimed its first LMP1 Privateer class victory in more than a year, following issues for the No. 13 Rebellion R-One AER.
A water leak sent the class pole-sitting entry into the garage in the third hour, costing them nearly 10 minutes, compounded by an injector failure in the final hour.
Pierre Kaffer, Simon Trummer and Oliver Webb finished seventh overall in the Austrian squad’s CLM P1/01 AER, their first since Circuit of The Americas in 2015.
RESULTS: 6H Shanghai