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Porsche Takes Over Championship Lead After Le Mans Win

Porsche trio take over championship lead after Le Mans win…

Photo: Porsche

Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard have taken over the lead in the FIA World Endurance Championship, with Porsche now at the front of the Manufacturers World Championship thanks to its come-from behind victory in last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The double points-scoring Le Mans round sees the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid trio jump out to a provisional 17-point lead over Toyota’s Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, who were denied their third consecutive WEC win and elusive first overall Le Mans victory for the Japanese manufacturer.

The No. 8 car lost nearly two hours in the garage changing its front motor generator unit and battery, but railed to an 8th place overall finish and 2nd in class in the attrition-filled race.

However, as points are calculated on the overall result, Davidson, Buemi and Nakajima scored only 16 points, compared to the winning Porsche trio at 50.

The points remain provisional pending the outcome of the appeal lodged by Vaillante Rebellion, which lost its 3rd place overall finish due to modifications made to the bodywork of its Oreca 07 Gibson.

Remarkably, Le Mans LMP2 class winners Oliver Jarvis, Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent sit third in the overall LMP Drivers’ Championship, thanks to their runner-up finish overall. The Jackie Chan DC Racing trio are only 33 points behind Porsche’s Hartley, Bamber and Bernhard.

They hold a commanding 40-plus point lead in the LMP2 standings, thanks in part to the exclusion of the No. 13 Rebellion entry, which had initially finished third on the road on Sunday.

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing remains out front in GTE-Pro, thanks to a second place class finish for its No. 67 Ford GT of Andy Priualx, Harry Tincknell and Pipo Derani at Le Mans.

Priaulx and Tincknell will head into the next WEC round at the Nürburgring with an 11-point advantage over Aston Martin Racing’s Darren Turner, Jonny Adam and Daniel Serra, who picked up Le Mans class honors in a thrilling last-lap battle with Corvette Racing.

Derani, who drove the No. 67 Ford in the opening three races of the season, will no longer be part of the lineup and is linked to fill one of the empty seats at Rebellion for the German round.

Clearwater Racing’s Matt Griffin, Keita Sawa and Weng Sun Mok, meanwhile, lead the GTE-Am standings, having finished fifth in class at Le Mans but picking up second-placed points in the championship.

The Six Hours of Nürburgring is set for July 14-16.

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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