Porsche's Webber/Hartley/Bernhard secure WEC drivers' title

Porsche's Webber/Hartley/Bernhard secure WEC drivers' title

22nd Nov 2015 2:45 pm

Their fifth-place finish and the victory for team-mates Jani/Dumas/Lieb - ensured they became Porsche's first world sportscar champions since 1986.

Porsche drivers Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley sealed the 2015 World Endurance Championship at the end of an incident-packed series finale in Bahrain.

Their fifth-place finish and the victory for team-mates Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb - which prevented Audi trio Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler from winning - ensured they became Porsche's first world sportscar champions since 1986 with a five-point margin.

The 13-point lead that Webber and his team-mates took into the championship decider looked under threat as early as the opening hour, when Bernhard lost five laps in the pits with a throttle actuator problem on the #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

They were faced with having to claw their way back to fourth place because the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro with Lotterer at the wheel was able to establish itself in the lead of the race.

They made it up to fifth in the third hour courtesy of a delay for the #8 Audi with brake problems, which put them back in a position to seal the title, once the second Porsche was able to assert an advantage over the lead R18 in hour four.

Any chance of the victory the Audi drivers needed to take the title finally disappeared in the penultimate hour when Lotterer retook the wheel and had to come straight back to the pits with a wheel nut problem.

Webber and his team-mates survived a late scare in the fifth hour with a return of the actuator problem, but the issue was quickly fixed after another trip into the garage and the Australian was able to cruise to fifth position.

Webber said: "That shows the fighting quality of the team.

"We had a lot of problems and it was very stressful; we got the car home and we had enough points and enough wins to be world champions."

The final margin of victory for Jani, Dumas and Lieb, who recorded their first win of the season, was nearly 90 seconds.

Alex Wurz took third position on his final race before retirement together with Toyota team-mates Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway.

They headed home the sister Toyota TS040 HYBRID shared by Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, which had been delayed by a series of slow pitstops, by just over a second in a team formation finish.

The #8 Audi driven by Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis took a distant sixth place after a further delay with a late-race stop-go penalty for a tyre infringement.

LMP1 privateer honours were taken by the #13 Rebellion-AER R-One of Alexandre Imperatori, Dominik Kraihamer and Matheo Tuscher, which was enough to give them second place in the class points ahead of ByKolles CLM-AER P1/01 drivers Pierre Kaffer and Simon Trummer.

G-DRIVE SEALS LMP2 TITLE WITH WIN

G-Drive Racing trio Sam Bird, Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov took the LMP2 drivers' championship in style with a fourth victory of the season aboard their Ligier-Nissan JSP2.

They battled with championship rivals KCMG, whose ORECA-Nissan 05 was shared by Nick Tandy, Richard Bradley and Matt Howson, for much of the race on the way to a 25-second victory.

Richard Lietz took the GT title with fifth place in GTE Pro aboard the Manthey Porsche 911 RSR he shared with Michael Christensen.

Combined with victory for Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki in the sister car, this was enough for Porsche to overhaul a four-point deficit to Ferrari in the manufacturers' standings.

SMP Ferrari drivers Andrea Bertolini, Viktor Shaitar and Aleksey Basov sealed the GTE Am title with fifth in class, while the Aston Martin Vantage GTE shared by Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana and Mathias Lauda took a third victory of the season.

RESULTS:

PosClassDriverTeamCarLapsGap
1 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 199 6h00m52.843s
2 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 199 1m25.310s
3 LMP1 A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, M.Conway Toyota Racing Toyota 196 3 Laps
4 LMP1 A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota 196 3 Laps
5 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 190 9 Laps
6 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 188 11 Laps
7 LMP2 R.Rusinov, J.Canal, S.Bird G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 183 16 Laps
8 LMP2 M.Howson, R.Bradley, N.Tandy KCMG ORECA/Nissan 183 16 Laps
9 LMP2 G.Yacaman, L.Derani, R.Gonzalez G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 182 17 Laps
10 LMP2 N.Panciatici, P-L.Chatin, T.Dillmann Signatech Alpine Alpine/Nissan 182 17 Laps
11 LMP1 A.Imperatori, D.Kraihamer, M.Tuscher Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 181 18 Laps
12 LMP1 S.Trummer, P.Kaffer Team ByKolles CLM/AER 180 19 Laps
13 LMP2 M.Aleshin, N.Minassian, D.Markozov AF Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 179 20 Laps
14 LMP1 N.Prost, M.Beche Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 179 20 Laps
15 LMP2 N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane Strakka Racing Gibson/Nissan 178 21 Laps
16 LMP2 P.Ragues, O.Webb, C.Cumming Team SARD Morand Morgan/SARD 177 22 Laps
17 LMP2 S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, D.Hansson Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 176 23 Laps
18 GTE Pro P.Pilet, F.Makowiecki Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 173 26 Laps
19 GTE Pro G.Bruni, T.Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 173 26 Laps
20 LMP2 E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, J.Fogarty Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 173 26 Laps
21 GTE Pro D.Turner, J.Adam Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 173 26 Laps
22 GTE Pro C.Nygaard, M.Sorensen, N.Thiim Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 173 26 Laps
23 GTE Pro R.Lietz, M.Christensen Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 172 27 Laps
24 GTE Pro D.Rigon, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 172 27 Laps
25 GTE Pro A.MacDowall, F.Rees, R.Stanaway Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 171 28 Laps
26 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 170 29 Laps
27 GTE Am M.Mapelli, K.Al Qubaisi, K.Bachler Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 170 29 Laps
28 GTE Am C.Ried, P.Long, M.Seefried Dempsey Racing - Proton Porsche 170 29 Laps
29 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, M.Cressoni AF Corse Ferrari 169 30 Laps
30 GTE Am V.Shaitar, A.Bertolini, A.Basov SMP Racing Ferrari 169 30 Laps
31 GTE Am G.Roda, P.Ruberti, K.Poulsen Larbre Competition Chevrolet 169 30 Laps
32 GTE Am F.Castellacci, R.Goethe, S.Hall Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 168 31 Laps
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