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Shanghai Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from 6H Shanghai…

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

***Sunday’s Six Hours of Shanghai was the day of Porsche, with the German manufacturer sweeping LMP1 and GTE-Pro honors, as well as locking up the Manufacturers’ World Championship. It marked Porsche’s 13th constructors World Championship title in endurance racing and the first since 1985.

***The LMP2 championship has become a two-horse race, following a rare mistake by Ricardo Gonzalez, who beached his No. 28 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan on the final lap while running third. As the car was not classified, it therefore resulted in Gonzalez and co-drivers Gustavo Yacaman and Pipo Derani scoring zero points.

***Their G-Drive teammates Sam Bird, Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal hold a 16-point lead over KCMG’s Richard Bradley and Matt Howson heading into the title-deciding Six Hours of Bahrain in three weeks’ time. A total of 26 points are up for grabs in the final round.

***Porsche has closed the gap to only four points on Ferrari in the World Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers, with Richard Lietz extending his points lead over AF Corse’s Davide Rigon and James Calado to a near unsurmountable 20 points.

***The title fight in GTE-Am will also go down to the wire, following an incident-filled race for the SMP Racing Ferrari, which finished third after bouncing back from an early race pit lane infraction. The Russian-backed team holds a 19-point lead over sister squad AF Corse.

***It was a tough race for the American contingent, with the No. 30 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2 Honda retiring just past the halfway mark with gearbox failure after leading the LMP2 class with Ryan Dalziel. The team’s sister entry came home sixth in class.

***One race after its breakthrough first class win, Dempsey Proton Racing soldered home to finish fourth in GTE-Am. It came after multiple spins by Patrick Dempsey in the wet that put the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR one lap down. Patrick Long led the early stages of the race.

***Matheo Tuscher became the youngest driver to race a LMP1 car in the WEC this weekend, with the 18-year-old Swiss rising star sharing the wheel of the No. 13 Rebellion R-One with Alexandre Imperatori and Dominik Kraihamer. The GP3 driver will pull double duty in Bahrain, taking part in both races during the weekend.

***The FIA WEC announced 46,000 spectators attended the Six Hours of Shanghai weekend. It marked a marginal increase from last year’s record of 45,000.

***Porsche has already been testing new components on its 2015-spec car, with the complete 2016-spec car set to begin testing in December, according to technical director Alex Hitzinger. “As usual, we will touch quite a lot of components but it’s more subtle changes,” he told Sportscar365.

***Hitzinger stressed the 2016-spec 919 Hybrid will be a small evolution, rather than an all-new car as was the case this year. Updates for next year include suspension, aero, engine modifications and weight reduction.

***Audi’s 2016 LMP1 contender will be unveiled at its motorsport presentation in Munich on Nov. 28. It’s widely believed the new R18 e-tron quattro will feature battery technology and a likely step up to either the 6 or 8 MJ hybrid subclass.

***A number of rumors have made the rounds at Shanghai, including the possibility of Alex Wurz departing from Toyota to join Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford GT program. It’s understood Stefan Muecke has already been signed, with Nicki Thiim as another possible driver for the Multimatic-run WEC program next year.

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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