FIA WEC: Porsche take honours in both LMP1 and GTPro at COTA


Photo : Nick Dungan – Photo Copyright 2015 Nick Dungan /


At the Lone Star Le Mans this evening, the No.17 Porsche 919 Hybrid took the chequered flag 1m06s seconds ahead of the No.7 Audi Sport Team Joest car to claim Porsche’s third successive WEC race victory.

The 6 Hours of COTA result means that today’s winning trio of Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard have reduced the points’ gap to leaders André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer and Marcel Fässler to just ten points.

The race, which ran under three hours of complete darkness, seemed to have been settled in the fourth hour when the No.17 Porsche, which was leading at the time, was given a penalty for a pit infringement. The offence occurred during the second scheduled stop when Brendon Hartley handed over to Mark Webber. A mechanic touched the car during the re-fuelling, which is forbidden under the regulations, and the car was given a 60-second stop/go penalty. This was not the only pit drama for the eventual winners as Webber made a rare error when he overshot his pit after the third stint.

This handed the lead to the pole-sitting No.18 Porsche 919 Hybrid, and from there it looked like a relatively straightforward first win of the season for Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and Romain Dumas. However, a technical problem with just 30-minutes to go ended any chance of a podium position and they eventually 12th overall, thus claiming just 0.5pts.

Lotterer, Tréluyer and Fässler were unable to offer a challenge to the Porsches despite a different pit stop strategy. The No.7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro appeared to be a faster proposition in the second half of the race but, by that stage, any attempt to attack the No.17 Porsche was not possible.

Completing the podium at COTA today was the No.8 Audi Sport Team Joest R18 e-tron quattro. The car spent much of the first half of the race staying in touch with the Porsches but, sadly for Lucas Di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis and Loïc Duval, they too fell foul of a pit penalty when one of the mechanics dropped a wheel. The resulting 60-second stop/go penalty dropped the car back behind the No.7.

Toyota collected more points with the No.1 TS 040 HYBRID. Fourth place was the final reward, despite having to take a stop/go penalty in the second hour when Anthony Davidson entered the pit lane then crossed the white line before re-joining the track.

The No.2 Toyota retired spectacularly just after half distance when Mike Conway crashed while attempting to lap an Aston Martin.

The LMP1 privateer class once again went the way of ByKolles. Despite a spin and time lost in the pits, the CLM P1/01 took maximum points for Pierre Kaffer and Simon Trummer to move closer to the Rebellion drivers in the points’ standings. Both Rebellion LMP1 cars were significantly delayed by technical issues.

The No.26 G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan of Sam Bird, Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal secured a second LMP2 win of the season after a hard-fought victory. A race long battle with the KCMG ORECA was resolved in G-Drive’s favour after some scintillating laps by Sam Bird at the beginning and end of the race. Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal also drove flawless stints to reduce the gap further to

KCMG and gathered further useful points for its title quest. Nicolas Lapierre, Matt Howson and Richard Bradley all led at stages of the race as differing pit strategies played out. A late race penalty for a pit infringement that had to be taken by Lapierre ensured that the win went to the orange and black No.26 Ligier-Nissan.

It was a successful weekend for G-Drive Racing as the No.28 completed the podium. It mirrored the Nurburgring result for Gustavo Yacaman, Ricardo Gonzalez and Pipo Derani. It was a close battle for the final podium position as third to sixth in the class was covered by just 21 seconds.

Photo : Nick Dungan – Photo Copyright 2015 Nick Dungan /


There were further celebrations for Porsche as the PorscheTeam Manthey squad claimed another fine 1-2 formation finish in the LMGTE Pro category.

After a race-long battle between the two Porsche 911 RSRs, it was the No.91 entry of Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen that triumphed once again. The deciding point of the race between the two entries came at the penultimate pit stop when a faster turnaround for the No.91 car gained track position and ultimately the win for the Austrian-Danish pairing ahead of Frederic Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet.

The No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia driven by Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander had looked to be on course to challenge the Porsches but a long pit stop to first fix and then replace a door on the Italian car meant they slipped down the order to eventually place only seventh.

Team mates to Bruni and Vilander in the No.71 AF Corse Ferrari – James Calado and Davide Rigon – took third but were unable to get within striking distance of the Porsche Team Manthey cars.

Completing a hat-trick of LMGTE Am wins at COTA was the SMP Racing Ferrari 458 of Andrea Bertolini, Victor Shaytar and Aleksey Basov. The trio once again completed an excellent win after a race long battle with three competitors – the No.88 Abu-Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche, the No.83 AF Corse Ferrari and the Dempsey-Proton Porsche, which in the hands of Pat Long had led for the first hour.

The win means the Russian-entered Ferrari 458 has an increased advantage of 35 points in the standings.