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Toyota Dominates 6H Shanghai; Porsche Clinches World Titles

Toyota Gazoo Racing win; Porsche, Bernhard, Bamber, Hartley clinch World Championships…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Toyota has scored a dominant victory in Sunday’s Six Hours of Shanghai, with a costly error by Jose Maria Lopez ultimately giving Porsche enough points to clinch the Manufacturers’ World Championship.

A second place finish for Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber, meanwhile, locked up the Drivers’ World Championship one race early.

The No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi took the win by one lap ahead of Bernhard, who inherited the Manufacturers’ Championship-clinching runner-up position following a late-race crash from the lead by Lopez.

The Argentinean overshot the entry into Turn 2, slamming into the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR and damaging the left-rear suspension and driveshaft. It cost Toyota a sure-fire 1-2 finish.

Lopez, who also spun in the opening hour after contact with a LMP2 car, finished seven laps behind in fourth after a trip to the garage for repairs from the final hour accident.

A ten-second post-race time penalty was added to the No. 7 Toyota for Lopez’s collision.

Up front, it marked Buemi and co-drivers Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima’s fourth win of the season and second straight after taking top honors in last month’s rain-shortened Six Hours of Fuji.

The No. 1 Porsche of Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy and Neel Jani finished third, despite a throttle issue that saw Tandy nearly stop on track in the opening hour and drop more than 80 seconds behind.

Both Porsches struggled to match the pace of the Toyotas all race, with the No. 2 car falling a lap down by the fourth hour.

Bernhard and Hartley become the first-ever two-time World Champions in the WEC, with double Le Mans winner Bamber earning his maiden world title.

It also marked Porsche’s third consecutive drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships, in its final year of LMP1 competition.

Vaillante Rebellion claimed its third class win in the last four races, taking over the LMP2 championship lead as a result of a turbulent race for Jackie Chan DC Racing.

Bruno Senna pedaled the No. 13 Oreca 07 Gibson to a 35.280-second margin over the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson of Nico Lapierre in second, following drama for the No. 38 DC Racing entry, which faded to fourth in the end.

Two costly spins for Ho-Pin Tung, both triggered by other cars that later received penalties, as well as a fuel-only stop in the final 30 minutes, took the Chinese squad out of contention in the race.

Senna and co-drivers Nico Prost and Julien Canal now hold a 4 point lead over Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent heading into the title-deciding Six Hours of Bahrain later this month.

The sister No. 13 Rebellion entry completed the class podium on Sunday, thanks to a late charge by Nelson Piquet Jr. 

RESULTS: 6H Shanghai

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. nugetti11

    November 5, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Feel bad for Jose but congrats to Porsche and good that Toyota have got their mood back 🙂
    Now go win your 5 race of the season in Bahrain so its 5-4 against Porsche! This show why the double points in Le Mans are so stupid for WEC, who wins in Le Mans can pretty much cruise the rest of the season but of course that was not the case for nr.2 Porsche with 3 straight wins after LM but with silly team orders. But Porsche are quitting in domination.

  2. tracer

    November 5, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Can anyone recall a factory prototype driver in the past who had as bad a season as Lopez is this year?

  3. CM

    November 5, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I see Lopez getting replaced by Andre Lotterer next year, Lotterer said he still wants to race in LMP1 next year. Would be a big upgrade for the team to get him on board.

    • tracer

      November 5, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      Lotterer would be an obvious good fit… except isn’t he signed up for Formula E next year? Haven’t compared the FE schedule to the WEC super season schedule, but if there are any conflicts I imagine Toyota will be wanting to avoid having additional drivers with conflicts to sort out (ala Buemi).

      • Leigh Dineen

        November 7, 2017 at 12:33 pm

        Formula e and WEC made schedules for 2018 that there would be no conflicts for that year, but can’t say for 2019 though.

    • Leigh Dineen

      November 7, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      More like getting replaced by Alonso, but Lotterer would be a great fit too.

  4. John

    November 5, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Lotterer would be a good call. He says he wants to stay in P1 and win LM again, and would even take a privateer drive.

    Toyota should toss him a car with Alonso!

    I don’t follow the guy, but it seems every time Lopez’s name appeared in the news this season, it wasn’t for good reasons.

  5. Marco

    November 6, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Epic stint by Heinemeier-Hansson. Loved the battle with Muller. That one was clean.

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