WEC: Webber, Hartley & Bernhard Win In Austin
Porsche took its fifth LMP1 win from six races during Round Six of the World Endurance Championship when Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard clinched their third victory in a row at the Circuit of The Americas…
The race began at 5PM local time, but despite the late start temperatures were still registering at more than 35 degrees Celsius before dusk fell. The trio of Webber, Hartley and Bernhard started from third on the grid with the sister car of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb back in fifth. Webber took the first stint in the No1 919 Hybrid, but had to play second best to the leading Audis who showed better pace in the hot conditions. Dumas started the No2 car and lost out in a battle with the Toyotas, settling in fifth spot. The first round of pit stops saw Hartley fighting with Anthony Davidson’s Toyota for third, with Lieb now at the wheel of the sister car in fourth.
The turning point in the race came on lap 94 when one of the Audis made a relatively lengthy pit stop allowing the No1 Porsche to gain track position over it. Then later on a full course yellow flag period was signalled during the No1 car’s pit stop window, resulting in the Porsche emerging from its stop in the lead of the race. Between them Bernhard and Webber then managed the car and their pace to the end of the race for a clean victory. The No2 car was not so lucky, suffering from a lack of front downforce from the early stages, and then with Jani enduring a slow puncture putting him into the pits on lap 112. To compound the issue Dumas later suffered the same fate, this second puncture came with just 12 minutes of the race remaining. As a result the No2 car crossed the line in fourth spot come the finish.
This 12th victory for the 919 Hybrid prototype further extends Porsche’s lead in the manufacturers’ standings, and marks the seventh win for the Bernhard/Hartley/Webber trio in the WEC series. Team Principal, Andreas Seidl, said: “At the beginning of the race, when the tarmac was extremely hot, we didn’t have the pace of the Audis. But thanks to a strong and error-free job by our drivers, the fastest pit stops of the field, dead right strategic decisions and flawless technology, we have earned and deserved this win.”
The next round of the WEC, 6 Hours of Fuji, takes place on 16th October 2016 in Japan.
Race result 6 Hours Circuit of The Americas (USA):
|1.||Webber/Hartley/Bernhard||Porsche 919 Hybrid||186 laps|
|2.||Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis||Audi R18||186 laps|
|3.||Sarrazin/Conway/Koayashi||Toyota TS050||186 laps|
|4.||Dumas/Jani/Lieb||Porsche 919 Hybrid||185 laps|
Drivers’ World Championship after four out of nine rounds:
|2.||Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis||Audi||92.5 points|
Constructors’ World Championship: