Hartley, Bamber, Bernhard win WEC title
New Zealanders Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber and German Timo Bernard have won the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship by finishing second in Shanghai.
The #8 Toyota TS050 of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, and Anthony Davidson won the race by over a lap, but the #2 Porsche 919 trio have an unassailable 32-point championship lead with a total of 26 on offer in the final round in Bahrain.
A podium position for the #1 Porsche 919 of Andre Lotterer, Neel Jani, and Nick Tandy also locked up the manufacturers’ championship for Porsche.
Hartley, Bernhard and Bamber were already on course to seal the drivers’ crown with third place when race leader Jose Maria Lopez was involved in an incident that sent the #7 Toyota TS050 into the pits for repairs and promoted the #2 Porsche to second.
The diagnosis for Car #7 was damaged left-rear suspension.
While the incident for the Toyota Lopez shared with Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway cost the Japanese marque a one-two, it did give Car #8 a clear run to the victory that had looked likely for the majority of the six-hour race.
Buemi, on new tyres, was closing down on Lopez and less than two seconds behind when the leader tagged the #91 GTE Pro class Porsche driven by Richard Lietz in Turn 3.
The Swiss had just taken second place from Nick Tandy in the #1 Porsche when race leader Lopez spun after contact with WEC debutant Nico Muller in the G-Drive LMP2 ORECA in the opening hour.
The #8 Toyota was in the ascendency for the rest of the race, though different tyre strategies meant it was behind when the sister car hit problems.
The Toyota TS050s, which incorporated new developments for this weekend, had a clear edge over the Porsches around the Shanghai International Circuit.
Both 919s were a lap down after four hours of the race.
Tandy/Jani/Lotterer had the faster of the two Porsches in China, but an engine sensor issue in the opening hour resulted in more than a minute lost.
Lotterer, however, was only 20s behind Bernhard at the finish.
Repairs to the #7 Toyota cost it seven laps and left it down in fourth at the chequered flag.
Rebellion drivers Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost and Julien Canal took victory in LMP2 to claim the championship lead with one race to go.
Senna had dominated the opening hour and a half of the race in the #13 ORECA-Gibson, but had to come from behind to take victory and the points lead from the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry.
The Brazilian passed Ho-Pin Tung for the lead with just under an hour to go at the end of an eventful race for the Chan/DC car the Chinese driver shared with Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent.
Tung had two incidents not of his making that resulted in spins, being tagged by Ben Hanley in the #24 Manor entry and then Muller in the G-Drive car.
Tung dropped behind Nicolas Lapierre in the Alpine Signatech ORECA and then Nelson Piquet Jr in the second Rebellion entry, fourth place leaving the long-time championship leaders four points behind Senna and his team-mates.
Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell claimed GTE Pro honours after a prolonged battle with the #91 Porsche 911 RSR that Lietz shared with Frederic Makowiecki.
Priaulx was able to pass Frenchman Makowiecki for the lead in the fourth hour and then Tincknell fought a successful rearguard action against Lietz prior to his hit from Lopez.
The Porsche faded in the final laps after the contact, ending up nine seconds down at the finish.
Behind them, third place for James Caldao and Alessandro Pier Guidi was enough for Ferrari to clinch the GT manufacturers’ spoils.
Porsche looked on course for victory with the sister car driven by Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen.
They had a clear edge on both their team-mates and the rest of the field, only for engine issues to put the car out early in the third hour.
Aston Martin drivers Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana had an easy run to victory in GTE Am from early in the second hour.
Their two closest rivals, the Spirit of Race and Clearwater Ferraris, lost time in the same incident involving the second of the Chan/DC ORECAs.
Australian Nick Foster therefore took second in GTE Am class in the Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR he shared with Ben Barker and Khalid Al-Qubaisi.
The ninth and final round is the 6 Hours of Bahrain on November 16-18.
Video: Race highlights
Race results: 6 Hours of Shanghai
|Pos||Car #||Car||Team||Drivers||Laps||Race time/split to lead||Class||Class pos|
|1||8||Toyota TS050 – Hybrid||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima||195||6:00:40.777||LMP1||1|
|2||2||Porsche 919 Hybrid||Porsche LMP Team||Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley||194||+1 Lap||LMP1||2|
|3||1||Porsche 919 Hybrid||Porsche LMP Team||Jani/Lotterer/Tandy||194||+1 Lap||LMP1||3|
|4||7||Toyota TS050 – Hybrid||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez||188||+7 Laps||LMP1||4|
|5||31||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Vaillante Rebellion||Canal/Prost/Senna||183||+12 Laps||LMP2||1|
|6||36||Alpine A470 – Gibson||Signatech Alpine Matmut||Lapierre/Menezes/Negrão||183||+12 Laps||LMP2||2|
|7||13||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Vaillante Rebellion||Beche/Heinemeier Hansson/Piquet Jr||182||+13 Laps||LMP2||3|
|8||38||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Jackie Chan DC Racing||Tung/Jarvis/Laurent||182||+13 Laps||LMP2||4|
|9||25||Oreca 07 – Gibson||CEFC Manor TRS Racing||Gonzalez/Trummer/Petrov||182||+13 Laps||LMP2||5|
|10||28||Oreca 07 – Gibson||TDS Racing||Perrodo/Vaxiviere/Collard||182||+13 Laps||LMP2||6|
|11||26||Oreca 07 – Gibson||G-Drive Racing||Rusinov/Roussel/Muller||181||+14 Laps||LMP2||7|
|12||37||Oreca 07 – Gibson||Jackie Chan DC Racing||Cheng/Brundle/Gommendy||181||+14 Laps||LMP2||8|
|13||24||Oreca 07 – Gibson||CEFC Manor TRS Racing||Rao/Hanley/Vergne||181||+14 Laps||LMP2||9|
|14||67||Ford GT||Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK||Priaulx/Tincknell||170||+25 Laps||LMGTE Pro||1|
|15||91||Porsche 911 RSR||Porsche GT Team||Lietz/Makowiecki||170||+25 Laps||LMGTE Pro||2|
|16||51||Ferrari 488 GTE||AF Corse||Calado/Pier Guidi||170||+25 Laps||LMGTE Pro||3|
|17||66||Ford GT||Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK||Mücke/Pla||170||+25 Laps||LMGTE Pro||4|
|18||95||Aston Martin Vantage||Aston Martin Racing||Thiim/Sørensen||170||+25 Laps||LMGTE Pro||5|
|19||71||Ferrari 488 GTE||AF Corse||Rigon/Bird||170||+25 Laps||LMGTE Pro||6|
|20||97||Aston Martin Vantage||Aston Martin Racing||Turner/Adam||170||+25 Laps||LMGTE Pro||7|
|21||98||Aston Martin V8 Vantage||Aston Martin Racing||Dalla Lana/Lamy/Lauda||166||+29 Laps||LMGTE Am||1|
|22||86||Porsche 911 RSR (991)||Gulf Racing UK||Al Qubaisi/Barker/Foster||165||+30 Laps||LMGTE Am||2|
|23||77||Porsche 911 RSR (991)||Dempsey – Proton Racing||Ried/Cairoli/Dienst||164||+31 Laps||LMGTE Am||3|
|24||61||Ferrari 488 GTE||Clearwater Racing||Mok/Sawa/Griffin||158||+37 Laps||LMGTE Am||4|
|DNF||92||Porsche 911 RSR||Porsche GT Team||Christensen/Estre||65||LMGTE Pro||DNF|
|DNF||54||Ferrari 488 GTE||Spirit of Race||Flohr/Castellacci/Molina||37||LMGTE Am||DNF|
World Endurance Drivers’ Championship
|7||Jose Maria Lopez||ARG||72.5|
|19||David Heinemeier Hansson||DNK||21.5|
|20||Nelson Piquet Jr||BRA||17.5|
|34||Luis Felipe Derani||BRA||4|
World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship