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

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

    Published On Nov 22, 2015 02:45:00 PM

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

    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
    1LMP1R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.LiebPorsche TeamPorsche1996h00m52.843s
    2LMP1M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.TreluyerAudi Sport Team JoestAudi1991m25.310s
    3LMP1A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, M.ConwayToyota RacingToyota1963 Laps
    4LMP1A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.NakajimaToyota RacingToyota1963 Laps
    5LMP1T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.HartleyPorsche TeamPorsche1909 Laps
    6LMP1L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.JarvisAudi Sport Team JoestAudi18811 Laps
    7LMP2R.Rusinov, J.Canal, S.BirdG-Drive RacingLigier/Nissan18316 Laps
    8LMP2M.Howson, R.Bradley, N.TandyKCMGORECA/Nissan18316 Laps
    9LMP2G.Yacaman, L.Derani, R.GonzalezG-Drive RacingLigier/Nissan18217 Laps
    10LMP2N.Panciatici, P-L.Chatin, T.DillmannSignatech AlpineAlpine/Nissan18217 Laps
    11LMP1A.Imperatori, D.Kraihamer, M.TuscherRebellion RacingRebellion/AER18118 Laps
    12LMP1S.Trummer, P.KafferTeam ByKollesCLM/AER18019 Laps
    13LMP2M.Aleshin, N.Minassian, D.MarkozovAF RacingBR Engineering/Nissan17920 Laps
    14LMP1N.Prost, M.BecheRebellion RacingRebellion/AER17920 Laps
    15LMP2N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.KaneStrakka RacingGibson/Nissan17821 Laps
    16LMP2P.Ragues, O.Webb, C.CummingTeam SARD MorandMorgan/SARD17722 Laps
    17LMP2S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, D.HanssonExtreme Speed MotorsportsLigier/HPD17623 Laps
    18GTE ProP.Pilet, F.MakowieckiPorsche Team MantheyPorsche17326 Laps
    19GTE ProG.Bruni, T.VilanderAF CorseFerrari17326 Laps
    20LMP2E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, J.FogartyExtreme Speed MotorsportsLigier/HPD17326 Laps
    21GTE ProD.Turner, J.AdamAston Martin RacingAston Martin17326 Laps
    22GTE ProC.Nygaard, M.Sorensen, N.ThiimAston Martin RacingAston Martin17326 Laps
    23GTE ProR.Lietz, M.ChristensenPorsche Team MantheyPorsche17227 Laps
    24GTE ProD.Rigon, J.CaladoAF CorseFerrari17227 Laps
    25GTE ProA.MacDowall, F.Rees, R.StanawayAston Martin RacingAston Martin17128 Laps
    26GTE AmP.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.LaudaAston Martin RacingAston Martin17029 Laps
    27GTE AmM.Mapelli, K.Al Qubaisi, K.BachlerAbu Dhabi-Proton RacingPorsche17029 Laps
    28GTE AmC.Ried, P.Long, M.SeefriedDempsey Racing - ProtonPorsche17029 Laps
    29GTE AmF.Perrodo, E.Collard, M.CressoniAF CorseFerrari16930 Laps
    30GTE AmV.Shaitar, A.Bertolini, A.BasovSMP RacingFerrari16930 Laps
    31GTE AmG.Roda, P.Ruberti, K.PoulsenLarbre CompetitionChevrolet16930 Laps
    32GTE AmF.Castellacci, R.Goethe, S.HallAston Martin RacingAston Martin16831 Laps

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