Podium finish and title win for Porsche in a highly emotional finale
For the second consecutive year Porsche has taken everything in the FIA World Endurance Championship: victory in Le Mans, winning the manufacturers’ world championship in Shanghai and now again the drivers’ world championship at the finale in Bahrain. In the last of nine WEC rounds in 2016 Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber came third, having started second on the grid with their Porsche 919 Hybrid. The new world champions, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb only came sixth after contact with another car early in the race. Audi’s dominant one-two race result was an impressive farewell from the WEC.
The six-hour race started at 16:00 hrs with ambient temperatures near 30 degrees Celsius. After the sun had set at 16:45 hrs the air cooled down to 24 degrees.
How the race went for car number 1:
Bernhard starts from second on the grid and lets Jani in the sister car pass him on the first lap. On lap 13 the number 7 Audi also overtakes him, Bernhard is fourth now. After 29 laps he hands over to Webber, who manages to improve to third by overtaking the number 5 Toyota on lap 43. Hartley jumps in after 59 laps, and after 89 laps Bernhard takes over until Hartley is back in the car after 120 laps. Bernhard once again jumps in after 150 laps, before finally, after 180 laps, Webber goes in to enjoy the final stint of his racing career. After a total of 201 laps he brings the 919 home in P3.
“I was the second and the last driver in the car today, and pretty happy with both stints,” said Mark. “Early in the race I had a nice little fight with the number 5 Toyota. I managed to get passed him and tried to pull away, but we didn’t have enough pace to fight the Audi. Then for the final stint it was pretty emotional putting my helmet on for the last time. I enjoyed the last stint and I got the chance to bring the car to the chequered flag for the top three finish, and this was the maximum we could get today. It has been such an incredible three years for me with Porsche, together with Timo and Brendon and the whole team. Nothing is forever, I’m stopping at a good time and I’m looking forward to seeing everybody again soon.”
Martin Andrewson November 20, 2016 Reply
Mark, have been following you since the famous Minardi 5th place “win” at Aussie GP 2002. Love your tenacity, passion and no nonsense attitude. You are an inspiration to so many Aussies. Thanks for the memories, and why don’t you have a crack at the Bathurst 12 hour in 2018? Cheers, Martin, Sydney
Colon November 20, 2016 Reply
Hi Mark, well done on a brilliant career. Regards Col
Dick Hansonon November 20, 2016 Reply
Congratulations, Mark! Glad to see you crushing it with Porsche. Glad to have met you and your dad here in Austin with Mike and Pam Reese at Circuit of the Americas Formula event.
Chris Drummondon November 20, 2016 Reply
What a wonderful finish to an outstanding career.for one of the best competitors in motor sport.
Mark; you will be missed but not forgotten. As a Porsche tragic we will continue to follow your next chapter
Best wishes Chris
Petraon November 20, 2016 Reply
Hi Mark, congratulations on your incredible win at Bahrain’s WEC ! I’m super happy for you finishing your carrier on such a high level of racing performance with your amazing team mates! All the best for you at Porsche ! May be we meet one day in Stuttgart Hugs & kisses from Germany
Stuarton November 21, 2016 Reply
Congratulations on a great career!
Mike Amoson November 25, 2016 Reply
A consummate professional as ever, Mark, you will be missed. I hope we can see you in the future in commentary teams making the whole racing scene come alive as you have from time to time already. Stay well Sir.
Andrew Fisheron December 7, 2016 Reply
Would you put your hand up to drive at Mercedes next year with Lewis?
Bruceon December 13, 2016 Reply
Thanks Mark or taking us along with you on a fantastic career. I admire your passion and determination. Your accomplishments speak for themselves, a great Australian sportsman.