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TANDY: Shanghai Debrief

Nick Tandy files his latest Sportscar365 column after Porsche won the FIA WEC titles at Shanghai…

Photo: Porsche

So we come away from Shanghai as World Champions! It was my first full year in a world championship and to be part of the winning team is a very proud achievement for me.

To wrap up both Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles one race early shows just what a good job Porsche has done this season, and I’ve got huge congratulations to give to Timo, Earl and Brendon for their Drivers’ title.

Towards the end of the Shanghai race, it didn’t look like it was going to be possible to win the manufacturers’ championship and our car would finish off the podium but shortly before the end, circumstances changed and we ended up coming third.

Both cars and the crew were celebrating both championships on the podium. It wasn’t the smoothest weekend however.

We got soundly beaten on pace by Toyota and beaten in the race but you’ve got to take the bad weekends with the good ones. We’ve come away doing the job that we’ve needed to do.

It was a shame that we had a problem on our car in the first hour of the race but in the end I think the Toyotas still would have had the edge even if we had a completely clear race.

We had a sensor issue on the fly by wire system that links the pedal to the throttle on the engine. Intermittently I was getting around 30 percent power when off throttle, which proved a bit interesting in some corners when you weren’t expecting it!

Luckily we have a back up system but it took us time to diagnose the problem and then change all the settings in the car whilst on track.

Shanghai was clearly a race that suited Toyota and it seems to be that when the conditions become a bit cooler, we struggle a bit more than when it’s a bit hotter.

The different temperature conditions affect the powertrains on each car and how the engines are working, plus how we use the tires.

We’ll put this one down as a congratulations to them and look ahead to Bahrain and hope that the situation will be a bit more in our favour.

We want to go there and have a good scrap to finish off Porsche’s LMP1 legacy from the last few years.

Everybody in the team is sad that it’s coming to an end but the good thing is that we’ve still got one more to go.

You haven’t got to think too much about what’s in the future because everybody’s concentrating on doing everything possible these next few weeks to make sure we come to Bahrain and have a good chance of fighting for the victory in the last race.

I’m sure on Saturday night after the race, we’ll be able to think about it in a different light but from my point of view at the moment, we’re still just 100 percent focused on performance and making sure that we can go there and hopefully, for our car, claim the first win. We’re still looking for that elusive victory!

I’m fully focused and looking forward to going there and doing everything possible to come out with a victory but there’s obviously no pressure left on any car and no need to score points on championships so it’s just flat out.

That doesn’t mean that things have stopped just because we’ve won the championship, however.

I’m now on my way back to Stuttgart for a couple of days to get on the sim and go through all the details and ideas the team has for Bahrain.

Nick Tandy (@NickTandyR) is the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner and Porsche LMP1 factory driver, driving for the German manufacturer in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

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