Porsche Penske takes FIA WEC victory in Qatar


Porsche Penske Motorsport took the first win of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship season after leading the majority of today’s Qatar Airways Qatar 1812km.

during the Qatar Airways Qatar 1812 KM, 1st round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship, from February 29 to March 02, 2024 on the Losail International Circuit in Lusail, Qatar – Photo Julien Delfosse / DPPI

The No.6 Porsche Penske 963 Hypercar driven by Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre took the chequered flag 33.297s ahead of Hertz Team JOTA who claimed the runners-up spot with Callum Ilott, Norman Nato and Will Stevens sharing the wheel. Estre survived a late scare after the Frenchman’s Porsche 963 made contact with an LMGT3 car that damaged the car’s side panel forcing the team to make repairs with just 15 minutes of the race remaining.

Completing the podium was the second factory Porsche belonging to the No. 5 crew of Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki – the crew fighting back from car vibration issues earlier in the race. Porsche’s podium lockout in Qatar marks the first for a manufacturer in the WEC since Audi at Spa in 2013.

It was heartache for Peugeot TotalEnergies, however, as Nico Muller, Jean-Eric Vergne and Mikkel Jensen were set to claim the marque’s best-ever WEC result with second place after a faultless performance in the No.93 Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar. However, a late issue for Vergne saw his car stop as it entered the final lap and limp over the line in seventh and the team were later disqualified due to a technical regulation breach.

Cadillac Racing finished fourth overall with Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber and Sebastien Bourdais making an epic comeback after an early race impact and front-left damage to the Cadillac V-Series.R.

Rounding out the top five was the No.83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P making its debut with Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman and Yifei Ye putting in a strong performance.

The No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry was sixth – with the reigning World Champions struggling for pace with the Ferrari 499P. Seventh was the No. 50 Ferrari AF Corse, the crew fighting back from an early drive-through-penalty.

Alpine Endurance Team’s No. 35 Alpine A424 drove a steady race to finish eighth – one spot ahead of the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar in ninth.

Proton Competition bagged the last points in tenth place after a solid drive by its trio of drivers. Elsewhere, it was a difficult race for BMW M Team WRT who finished 11th and 15th in its pair of BMW M Hybrid V8 cars.

Lamborghini Iron Lynx completed its first WEC race, finishing 14th while Isotta Fraschini retired from its first race after five hours into the race with a mechanical issues.

Round two of the season moves to Europe as the World Championship prepares for its first ever WEC race at Imola in Italy (20-21 April).