Racing catchup for weekend 29-30 November


PodiumsIn this week’s racing catchup, we take a look at the final round 2014 World Endurance Championship from Sao Paulo



Porsche celebrated its first endurance prototype win since 1989 when they took a well-deserved FIA World Endurance Championship win at Interlagos today after a sensational 6 Hours of Sao Paulo today.

One entry from each of the three major manufacturers finished on the final podium of the season to bring to a climax the 2014 FIA WEC season. The action, which played out in front of over 55,000 race fans, saw some thrilling side-by-side action that truly evoked the spirit of endurance racing.

Neel Jani in the #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid took the chequered flag ahead of Anthony Davidson’s Toyota TS 040 Hybrid after a ferocious race long duel. His team mates Marc Lieb and roman Dumas also drove impeccable stints to ensure that Porsche ended their debut year in the FIA WEC on a massive high.

The race ended under safety car after a serious accident between Mark Webber’s pole winning #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid and the #90 8 Star entered Ferrari 458 Italia of Matteo Cressoni. Cressoni was checked by the medical staff at the side of the track and cleared, while Webber, who was awake and alert, was taken to the circuit medical centre for further examination.

The second place earned by the #8 Toyota Racing duo of Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson clinched the 2014 FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ title for the Japanese manufacturer. This was despite contact with the #75 Prospeed Porsche which sent Buemi in to a spin during the second hour.

At the final stop the #8 Toyota Racing crew elected to take fresh tyres and Davidson re-entered the circuit 17-seconds behind Jani. Davidson was making steady in-roads in to the lead when the Webber/Cressoni accident took place and ended any charge for a fifth race victory of the season.

Neel Jani – #20 Porsche Team

“The first thing I would like to say is that Mark is basically ok so that is good.  To Tom (Kristensen) I would just like to say thanks and it was nice to race with you. At the beginning of the race we had a good battle with Anthony but we lost a bit of time to the leading sister car. At the end we could undercut the Toyota as we stopped about ten laps earlier. I think we could have been ok even if the safety car had not come out. I am delighted for the team who were fantastic all season long.”

Tom Kristensen – #1 Audi Sport Team Joest

“I think we are incredibly proud to be on the podium here today. We needed a little more electrical grunt but as Anthony said the circuit and the surface feel absolutely amazing with the grip. We wanted to achieve what we did today. We lost 30-40 seconds with an issue at the pit stops so we always dropped back. We also had to do seven stints and a splash so we had to save some fuel. When the team said I could ‘go’ after saving some fuel I went for it again and everything felt good and I was able to make a small gap to Sarrazin before the safety car came.

I think it (my retirement) will hit me soon but I am still in the race moment now and I have just got out of the car and I am enjoying things. But this is it!  I look back at a long time of a lot of people I want to thank and also the fans of this fantastic championship which will go in to a great future and I look forward to following it. All of my happy memories I take with me from here. My first race that I did with Audi I finished on the podium so it is all a dream come true for me and also thanks to the kids on the right, they did a great job.”


Aston Martin Racing has reigned supreme in the LMGTE Am category this year, with either the class title winners in the No.95 Vantage V8 or the No.98 sister car taking victory at seven of the eight rounds.  In a thrilling 6 Hours of Sao Paulo, the final round of a thrilling FIA World Endurance Championship season, it was today the turn of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Christoffer Nygaard to mount the top step of the podium.

It was the trio’s third win of the year and, had it not been for failure to finish the double points-scoring 24 Hours of Le Mans, the final outcome of the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Am Drivers might have been considerably closer.  As it was, the Canadian/Portuguese/Danish combination proved to be highly consistent and reliable and from the moment the race started at Interlagos, under bright sunshine and in front of 55,000 enthusiastic fans, the No.98 was always in the hunt.

Finishing second today was the No.95 ‘Dane Train’ which had an uncharacteristically troublesome race.  A drive through penalty for abusing track limits, a spin and a puncture all contributed to their woes, but the very rapid Nicki Thiim, David Heinemeier Hansson and Kristian Poulsen never gave up and crossed the finish line just 5 seconds behind their team mates.

Third in class today, and only another 10 seconds behind, was the No.81 AF Corse Ferrari which took its third podium of the season in the hands of Michele Rugolo, Andrea Bertolini and an ever-improving Stephen Wyatt.  This was the best placing for Ferrari in the Am class as the sister No.61 AF Corse entry – which for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo featured none other than legendary Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi alongside Alessandro Pier Guidi and Jeff Segal – had a challenging race.

Darren Turner – #97 Aston Martin Racing

“The contact with Toni (Vilander) was when I think he had a puncture or something and he just caught the back of me and we both went off. Then later on I was trying to challenge James at T6 and I just got high up on the kerb and it was enough to just send me in to a spin. The guys did a great job with changing the strategy and Stefan did a tremendous job as always. It would have been tight if had been green to the end with fuel and the safety car at the end was even more stressful for us and if we had gone green we would have been in all sorts of problems. It has been a great season in many ways for Aston Martin Racing with lots of positives.”