Porsche Penske took the FIA WEC win in Qatar 1812 KM race to open 2024 season, with sister Hertz Team Jota securing a 1-2 Porsche finish.

Hypercar –

The No.6 Porsche Penske 963 Hypercar driven by Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre took the chequered flag 33.297s ahead of Hertz Team JOTA who claimed the runners-up spot with Callum Ilott, Norman Nato and Will Stevens sharing the wheel. Estre survived a late scare after the Frenchman’s Porsche 963 made contact with an LMGT3 car that damaged the car’s side panel forcing the team to make repairs with just 15 minutes of the race remaining.

Completing the podium was the second factory Porsche belonging to the No. 5 crew of Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki – the crew fighting back from car vibration issues. Porsche’s podium lockout in Qatar marks the first for a manufacturer in the WEC since Audi at Spa in 2013.

It was heartache for Peugeot TotalEnergies, however, as Nico Muller, Jean-Eric Vergne and Mikkel Jensen were set to claim the marque’s best-ever WEC result with second place after a faultless performance in the No.93 Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar. However, a late issue for Vergne saw his car stop as it entered the final lap and drop to seventh as it limped over the line.

Cadillac Racing finished the race fourth overall, the American squad with Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber and Sebastien Bourdais at the wheel making an epic comeback after an early race impact and front-left dramage to the Cadillac V-Series.R. Rounding out the top five was the No.83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P making its debut with Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman and Yifei Ye putting in a strong performance.

The No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry was sixth overall – with the reigning World Champions struggling for pace with the Ferrari 499P. Eighth was the No. 50 Ferrari AF Corse, the crew fighting back from an early drive-through-penalty. Alpine Endurance Team’s No. 35 Alpine A424 drove a steady race to finish ninth and the last crew to bag points was the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar.

Proton Competition narrowly missed out on a points finish its trio of drivers finished the race 11th overall in their Porsche.  Elsewhere, it was a difficult race for BMW M Team WRT who finished 12th and 16th in its pair of BMW M Hybrid V8 cars. Lamborghini Iron Lynx completed its first WEC race, finishing 15th while Isotta Fraschini retired from its first race after five hours into the race with a mechanical issues.


In a close battle for the majority of the race with the No.27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage driven by Ian James, Daniel Mancinelli and Alex Riberas. In so doing the team pulled off the first win for a Lithuanian-flagged team in not only the any FIA world championship. Porsche also became the first marque to win in every GT category that has raced in the WEC since its inception in 2012.

In a tense finish Manthey PureRxcing took the chequered flag just 4.8 seconds ahead of their rivals. A strong opening two stints from Malykhin put the No. 92 Porsche in to a strong position on with a well-earned gap that hovered around the 22-seconds mark for large portions of the race.

When Riberas spun the Heart of Racing Aston during the mid-phase of the 1812kms event it allowed the Manthey PureRxcing trio a little breathing space. But the Aston Martin Vantage came back at them in final hour, although Bachler was able to mostly control the gap. D’station Racing ensured that two Aston Martin were represented on the podium, as Marco Sorensen, Clement Mateu  and Erwan Bastard finished ahead of the No. 46 WRT BMW M4 GT3 entry of Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin and Ahmad Al Harthy for the place on the podium.

Rossi had enjoyed a successful first WEC race in the BMW M4 run by Team WRT completing four stints at the wheel and contributing to a strong performance as he heads to Imola next month for his home race. Fifth was the No.54 VISTA AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3 of Davide Rigon, Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci. Rigon was presented with the Goodyear Wingfoot award for the best two average stints during the race.

The top six was rounded off by the second of the No.31 Team WRT BMW M4 cars of Darren Leung, Sean Gelael and Augusto Farfus. The top 10 was completed with the No.55 VISTA AF Corse Ferrari. Seventh, the  No.85 Iron Dames Lamborghini eighth ahead of the  No.88 Proton Ford Mustang on its debut and the No.82 TF Sport Corvette Z06 LMGT3 car.

Results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com/index.php

UPDATE: Weeks after the completion of WEC 8 Hours of Qatar, the stewards have disqualified #2 Cadillac from fourth after technical infringement. As a result, #11 BMW finishes in the Top 10 to score a point. Here: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com/noticeBoard.php

[Note: The story is as per press release]