Following the 24 Hours of Le Mans, today's victory at the 6 Hours of Nürburgring was the second in a row for Porsche in the LMP1 class, and for Jackie Chan DC Racing (Oreca) in LMP2, while Ferrari and Porsche won the LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am classes, respectively.
Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber took their second win of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season in the No.2 Porsche after a thrilling battle with the sister No.1 919 Hybrid at Nurburgring this afternoon.
The two Porsches were rarely more than four or five seconds apart during the entire race but it was the reigning title-winning car which triumphed to give both Bernhard and Hartley their 10th WEC wins and Bamber his 3rd.
It was a thrilling race between the two Porsche 919 Hybrid racers which saw the lead swapped numerous times. At one stage, in the fourth hour, Bamber lost the lead to his fellow 2015 Le Mans winner Nick Tandy, after having to take avoiding action when Tor Graves spun his CEFC Manor TRS Racing LMP2 car in front of the Kiwi at the chicane.
The result today ensures that Hartley, Bernhard and Bamber have extended their lead in the championship to 30 points as the European leg of the 2017 WEC comes to an end.
André Lotterer, Neel Jani and Nick Tandy ensured a Porsche 1-2 at their home event, taking the runners-up position after leading for large periods of the race but the trio lost the lead at the final pit stop.
The pole sitting No.7 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi, José Maria Lopez and Mike Conway took third place after leading in the early stages as Kobayashi converted pole position into track position. The Toyota TS050 HYBRID fell back, however, and finished just under a lap down on the winning Porsche.
Winners of the first two races at Silverstone and Spa, the No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing trio of Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi, suffered a frustrating race as an enforced change of fuel pump on the first lap put them out of contention. The car did though recover well, and claim fourth place points.
Jackie Chan DC Racing continue winning streak in LMP2
The Jackie Chan DC Racing team celebrated another win, their third in four races, with the Oliver Jarvis, Thomas Laurent and Ho-Pin Tung crewed No.38 ORECA-Gibson. They led for the majority of the race after wresting the lead from the No.31 Vaillante Rebellion.
The only small issue for the winning LMP2 car was a quick change of rear bodywork in the fourth hour. Jarvis, Tung and Laurent’s hat-trick of wins so far in 2017 ensures they now enjoy a huge 46-point in the LMP2 Drivers' Championship.
Bruno Senna led in the No.31 for the Vaillante Rebellion team early on, but lost out to Oliver Jarvis in traffic which ensured that he and his teammates Filipe Albuquerque and Julien Canal took second position for the third time this season.
Completing the podium in LMP2 was the reigning LMP2 champions, the No.36 Signatech Alpine car crewed by Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Matt Rao. Lapierre made a thrilling move on the No.13 Vaillante Rebellion ORECA Gibson in the dying minutes of the race to claim the position.
Ferrari takes second consecutive Nürburgring win in LMGTE Pro
Ferrari took a hard-earned win at the Nürburgring today after a typically frantic battle in the LMGTE Pro category
The No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE driven by James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi took a first win of the season after the pair maximized their tyres and set-up to the fullest, heading home the two Porsche GT Team 911 RSR entries.
Calado reprised his breakthrough 2016 victory at Nürburgring while teammate Alessandro Pier Guidi took his maiden WEC win.
The British driver took the lead from the No.92 Porsche with an incisive move and then built an impressive gap to hand over to Pier Guidi who crossed the line 50-seconds ahead of the next-placed car, taking Ferrari’s second class win of the season.
Porsche took second and third places after enjoying its best race weekend of the season with the new-look 911 RSR model.
The No.91 car of Fréderic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz headed home the No.92 sister car of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen by just eight seconds.
A fifth-place finish for Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx in the No.67 Ford GT was enough for them to retain the lead in the GT World Endurance Drivers’ Championship. They head Makowiecki and Lietz by 11 points as the WEC heads to Mexico City in early September.
Dempsey Proton win LMGTE Am thriller
LMGTE Am saw a popular home victory for Dempsey-Proton Racing. Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli and Marvin Dienst held off the Spirit of Race Ferrari and Aston Martin Racing challenge to ensure that both Dienst and Cairoli took their first ever WEC wins. It was also Christian Ried’s first WEC class victory since Bahrain in 2012.
The Dempsey-Proton team fought hard for the win as they hunted down the Aston Martin Vantage of Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana, coming under threat too from the Spirit of Race Ferrari which eventually finished took second place points for Miguel Molina, Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr.
The winning margin for the Dempsey Proton Porsche was just 4.3 seconds as the class provided another nail-biting finish.
The LMGTE Am title fight could not be closer now as just two points separate three teams of drivers. Silverstone victors Keita Sawa, Matt Griffin and Weng Sun Mok are now level on points with Ried, Dienst and Cairoli, while the Aston Martin trio of Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana are just two points adrift.
52,000 spectators enjoyed the fourth round of the 2017 FIA WEC, an event which saw a remarkable 510 overtakes for position. It was also one of the cleanest WEC ever races with no caution periods at all, and less than five minutes of on-track yellow flags.
The next round of the Championship will be the 6 Hours of Mexico in Mexico City on 3rd September. See you all there!
- FIA WEC press release -
PHOTO (Pascal Saivet/VSA): The #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid finished ahead of the #1 sister car, delivering to Porsche a one-two at the 6 Hours of Nürburgring.