Porsche takes lead in the drivers’ championship with another one-two result
By winning the fourth race in a row with the Porsche 919 Hybrid, the Porsche Team took an important step forward in the battle for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and now leads both the manufacturers’ and the drivers’ standings. Today Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) won on the 4.549 kilometre long Fuji Speedway in the Japanese Alps under tricky weather conditions. Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) came second in the six-hour race. With this one-two result – the third one including the Le Mans 24 Hours – Porsche significantly extended its lead in the manufacturers’ standings. Porsche now has 264 points to its tally, with Audi following with 211 points and Toyota having 119. In the drivers’ championship the Porsche trio of Bernhard/Hartley/Webber is now leading by one point.
How the race went for car number 17:
After almost 40 minutes behind the safety car and with light rain still falling, finally the race goes green. Mark Webber starts on full wet tyres from pole position, but goes off the track in turn three, re-joining the race in P4. An issue with the hybrid system causes a lack of boost, so the sister car overtakes on lap 23 and Webber drops back to fifth. From lap 31 until the number 1 Toyota pits after lap 42, the spectators see a great battle between the Toyota and the Porsche. After 43 laps Mark comes in for fuel only. Meanwhile the car lies third behind the leading number 7 Audi and the Porsche sister car. During the second part of his double stint Mark catches up on the still wet track. After the sister Porsche manages to take the lead, from lap 72 onwards Mark is trying to get by the number 7 Audi. After several changes of positions, both cars are due for their pit stops. Mark hands over the car to Brendon Hartley after 81 laps. It is also the first tyre change, and Brendon gets intermediate slicks. On lap 86 he loses P2 again to the number 7 Audi but takes revenge on lap 108. Still in second, Brendon comes in after 121 laps for fuel only. After 160 laps he hands over to Timo Bernhard, who continues on slick tyres. He picks up a set of new ones and more fuel at his final pit stop after 193 laps. At the end of lap 209 Timo takes the lead.
“My first stint was pretty tricky with very little grip. After the start I almost lost the car in turn three,” said Mark. “Shortly later a hybrid issue occurred, so we had lots of talk on the radio. I was very happy with the second half of my double stint. I had a good battle with the number 7 Audi and it was good to get our cars back to the front.”
Petraon October 11, 2015 Reply
Hi Mark, absolutely fantastic result .congrats to you & the team ! Wish I could be in Shanghai for your next race! But my China years are over now and all the crazy life too ! Enjoy your victory party!
Dave Rodgerson October 25, 2015 Reply
Mark, long time fan – Just read your book, bit of an eye opener. Good luck this year.