Porsche Team Manthey and Richard Lietz inched closer to the GTE-Pro world title with a dominant class win in Sunday’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Shanghai.
Lietz and Michael Christensen claimed their third class victory in the last four races, taking their No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR to a 45.607-second victory over the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia of Gianmaria Bruni in second.
The German manufacturer controlled the wet-turned-dry enduro from the onset, with the pair of factory Porsche 911 RSRs enjoying an early lead, although coming under fire from GT Manufacturer leader Ferrari in the second half.
A marathon four-and-a-half hour stint by Vilander put the AF Corse Ferrari within a fighting chance, but it wasn’t enough to deny Lietz and Christensen of another class win.
The No. 92 Porsche of Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet completed the class podium in third, ahead of the AF Corse’s Davide Rigon and James Calado, which lost significant ground in the drivers’ title race.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Italian squad, however, as AF Corse picked up its first class victory of the season in GTE-Am.
Emmanuel Collard, Francois Perrodo and Rui Aguas kept their slim title chances alive with the win, despite having to serve a late-race penalty for a pit lane infraction.
Their No. 83 Ferrari finished 41.745 seconds ahead of the class pole-sitting No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage V8 of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda in second.
The No. 72 SMP Racing Ferrari completed the podium in third, with the Russian squad holding a 19-point advantage over the AF Corse trio heading into next month’s title decider in Bahrain.
RESULTS: Six Hours of Shanghai