WEC: Porsche Wins At Fuji
Round four of the FIA WEC World Sports Car Championship in Japan resulted in victory for Porsche in the GTE-Pro category. The No92 works 911 RSR, shared by Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen, crossed the finish line first at the end of the six-hour race at Fuji, the win extends Porsche’s lead in the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championship standings.
Changeable weather saw wet conditions for the first hour of the race, but the track slowly dried during a 30-minute safety car phase. Crucially Estre and Christensen made an early switch to slick tyres and began working their way up the field. Christensen swept into the lead of the race with less than two hours of running remaining, the Dane handing the car over to Estre at the final pit stop, allowing the Frenchman to take the chequered flag. The No91 sister car of Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni finished in fifth place having struggled with a difficult pit stop and tyre degradation towards the latter stages of the race.
Kévin Estre commented: “I’m incredibly happy about our victory. Our setup was simply fantastic and the good braking performance was an important aspect of our success at Fuji. After we changed to slicks during the safety car phase early on in the race, our car setup allowed us to brake later than the others and thus gain positions. Our pit stop strategy also ran perfectly.”
Program Manager Factory GT Motorsports, Alexander Stehlig, said: “It was a hugely successful weekend for Porsche with the victory at Petit Le Mans in the USA and the two successes here at Fuji in the Pro and Am categories. We almost always made the right decisions during the race and the car was good and fast. The number 92 car drove a flawless race, our number 91, unfortunately, had problems during the pit stop. On top of that, the balance wasn’t great in the last stint. But all in all, we’re very satisfied.”
Round five of the WEC championship takes place in Shanghai on 16 November.