Toyota dominates WEC 6 Hours of Shanghai

Autosport

Toyota drivers Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson dominated the Shanghai World Endurance Championship round to extend their lead at the top of the points table.

A fourth win of the season for the #8 Toyota TS040 HYBRID means that the duo are now 42 points clear in the championship, with just 52 up for grabs over the final two WEC rounds later this month.

Buemi and Davidson led home a Toyota one-two in China on a day that the TS040 again showed its superiority over Porsche’s 919 Hybrid and the Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

Buemi came from the back of the field to take the lead of the race in less than an hour after Toyota opted to bring its cars in during a prolonged safety-car period that followed a first-lap incident.

Toyota was effectively taking the splash of fuel it would need at the end of the race under yellow flag conditions, but a problem fueling the #8 TS040 meant Buemi had to return to the pits the lap after his original stop.

Buemi was up to third behind the two Porsches by the time the other LMP1 cars started making their pitstops, took second from Romain Dumas in the #14 car and then moved into the lead when Brendon Hartley pitted in the #20 car.

The Toyota stopped four laps later and Davidson was able to retain a lead that it only briefly lost over the remainder of the six-hour race.

The second Toyota, shared by Alex Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima, came through to second, finishing 1m12s down on a day when it didn’t have the pace of the sister car and was unable to get full power for the first half of the opening stint.

“In qualifying we missed out; I think the Porsche genuinely had the upper hand, but a six-hour race is different,” said Davidson.

“We had the car to do the job and it is great to win.”

The #14 Porsche, in which Marc Lieb and Neel Jani joined Dumas, took its first podium of the season with third place, albeit a lap down.

The #20 Porsche shared by Hartley, Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard had taken the lead from Dumas during the opening stint, but ended up down in sixth after the a puncture during the second hour.

The two Audis ended up fourth and fifth, the championship-challenging duo of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler finishing 12s ahead of team-mates Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval and Tom Kristensen.

The G-Drive Racing Ligier JSP2 notched up its second LMP2 victory in the hands of Olivier Pla, Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov after a dominating the class.

Its only likely rival, the KCMG ORECA-Nissan 03R shared by Alexandre Imperatori, Richard Bradley and Matt Howson, was eliminated on the opening lap when the car slowed with fuel pump failure and was hit up the rear by Gianmaria Bruni’s AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia.

Aston Martin Racing and Stefan Mucke and Darren Turner were on course for a Shanghai hat-trick in GTE Pro when a major engine failure put the lead Aston Vantage GTE out in the penultimate hour. That allowed the factory Porsche 911 RSR of Frederic Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet, which had trailed the Aston by nearly half a minute at the time of its retirement, to claim class honours.

The triumph puts Makowiecki, who started the season sharing with Marco Holzer, back in the hunt for the championship after leaders Bruni and Toni Vilander failed to score after their first-lap retirement.

Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana and Christoffer Nygaard triumphed in GTE Am after an all-Aston Martin battle with team-mates Richie Stanaway, Kristin Poulsen and David Heinemeier Hansson.

RESULTS – 188 LAPS:

PosClassDriverTeamCarGap
1LMP1A.Davidson, S.BuemiToyota RacingToyota6h01m15.319s
2LMP1A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, K.NakajimaToyota RacingToyota1m12.564s
3LMP1R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.LiebPorsche TeamPorsche1 Lap
4LMP1M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.TreluyerAudi Sport Team JoestAudi1 Lap
5LMP1L.di Grassi, L.Duval, T.KristensenAudi Sport Team JoestAudi1 Lap
6LMP1T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.HartleyPorsche TeamPorsche2 Laps
7LMP1N.Prost, N.Heidfeld, M.BecheRebellion RacingRebellion/Toyota8 Laps
8LMP1D.Kraihamer, A.Belicchi, F.LeimerRebellion RacingRebellion/Toyota8 Laps
9LMP2R.Rusinov, O.Pla, J.CanalG-Drive RacingLigier/Nissan11 Laps
10LMP2S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, R.GonzalezExtreme Speed MotorsportsHPD14 Laps
11LMP2S.Zlobin, N.Minassian, M.MedianiSMP RacingOreca/Nissan14 Laps
12LMP2K.Ladygin, V.Shaitar, A.LadyginSMP RacingOreca/Nissan14 Laps
13LMP2E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, D.BrabhamExtreme Speed MotorsportsHPD15 Laps
14LMP1P.Kaffer, L.AuerLotus/AER17 Laps
15LMP2D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung, M.PattersonOak RacingMorgan/Judd21 Laps
16GTE ProF.Makowiecki, P.PiletPorsche Team MantheyPorsche21 Laps
17GTE ProJ.Bergmeister, R.LietzPorsche Team MantheyPorsche21 Laps
18GTE ProD.Rigon, J.CaladoAF CorseFerrari22 Laps
19GTE ProA.MacDowall, D.O’Young, F.ReesAston Martin RacingAston Martin22 Laps
20GTE AmP.D.Lana, P.Lamy, C.NygaardAston Martin RacingAston Martin23 Laps
21GTE AmK.Poulsen, D.Hansson, R.StanawayAston Martin RacingAston Martin23 Laps
22GTE AmG.Roda, P.Ruberti, M.Cressoni8 Star MotorsportsFerrari24 Laps
23GTE AmF.Perrodo, E.Collard, M.VaxiviereProspeed CompetitionPorsche25 Laps
24GTE AmC.Ried, W.Henzler, K.Al QubaisiProton CompetitionPorsche27 Laps
GTE ProD.Turner, S.MuckeAston Martin RacingAston MartinRetirement
LMP2M.Howson, R.Bradley, A.ImperatoriKCMGOreca/NissanRetirement
GTE ProG.Bruni, T.VilanderAF CorseFerrariRetirement

Toyota dominates WEC 6 Hours of Shanghai

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