The Porsche car driven by Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard won the 6 hours of Nürburgring after an intense battle with the Audi’s who completes the podium.
In front of 58.000 spectators, the World Endurance Championship published today that the series will continue in this place one year more.
HOUR 1 – TRAFFIC SETS THE PACE
The Audis started from the first two places but they lost the second place with Porsche #1 at the start.
Fässler (Audi #7) was leading the race but traffic problems helped the Porsches and the other Audi to catch him and battle. With that, Neel Jani (Porsche #2) who was fourth spun off when he was trying the manoeuvre on Jarvis (Audi #8) for third position.
In LMP2, the Signatech Alpine #36 driven by Stéphane RIchelmi made a great start but it was the G-Drive Racing #26 who from pole position, didn’t missed the first place in the category.
In GTE Pro, Mücke (Ford #66) made a great start but quickly the Aston Martin overtook the German to escape from Ferraris and Ford.
HOUR 2 – PORSCHE VS. AUDI, THE BATTLE
With the pit stops, Hartley (Porsche #1) managed to take the lead of the race in front of Jarvis and Lotterer (Audi #7). But the Porsche suffered a slow puncture and had to pit before the expected.
In LMP2, anyone could not stop the G-Drive Racing #26 who was dominating in front of the Alpine and the Strakka Racing #42.
In GTE Pro, the Aston Martin Racing #95 continued in the lead while the Ford #67 had to retired after fire his car in the pit lane.
HOUR 3 – FCY CHANGES RACE DIRECTION
Early on the third hour a FCY (Full-Course-Yellow) made appearance because of François Perrodo (AF Corse #83) car that was stopped in the gravel at Coca-cola chicane.
After that incident, Lucas Di Grassi (Audi #8) overtook Lotterer (Audi #7) for second position, in order to try to catch the Porsche #1.
But another FCY at the end of the hour hurt the Audi chances who saw how Porsche #2 – who was running fourth, pitted and rejoined in the lead of the race under FCY conditions.
In LMP2 after the dominant performance from G-Drive Racing #26, the Russian team abandoned the race and let the Signatech Alpine #36 take the lead with Gustavo Menezes on board.
HOUR 4 – STRATEGY AND QUIET RACE
We entered to the second part of the race and the Porsches were leading the race in front of the Audi’s and Toyota’s. The Alpine was leading in LMP2, ahead of Strakka and Manor. Meanwhile in GTE Pro, Aston Martin #95 continued in the lead as the Ferraris were closing the gap.
In that time, a new FCY made appearance with the retirement of Oliver Webb (Bykolles Racing Team) due to engines problems. The British stopped the car at turn 3 despite his ambition to continue in the race. That was a moment to join the pits for everybody but not for the Ford #66 of Oliver Pla who changed the strategy in order to reach the podium.
More problems were happening in LMP1 cars. The Toyota #6 had to stay sometime in the garage. Meanwhile in GTE Pro, the AF Corse #51 overtook the Aston Martin for the lead.
While in LMP2, Filipe Alburquerque and Bruno Senna star in a great comeback for RGR Sport by Morand #45 who reached the second position and made some pressure on the Alpine.
HOUR 5 – PORSCHE: BLACK AND WHITE
The action was really quiet and maybe boring in that time until the contact caused by Marc Lieb (Porsche #2) when he was leading the race. The German crashed into the GTE Am Porsche car of Al-Quabaisi who get stacked in the gravel causing the FCY.
As consequence, Porsche #2 had to join the pits to change the front wing and then drive through the pit lane as a penalty for this contact. This let the Audi #8 of Duval in the second position as Porsche #2 third, was right behind him.
HOUR 6 – LOTTERER IN A CLASS OF HIS OWN
But the Porsche #2 didn’t battle for second position any more when André Lotterer (Audi #7) started to battle for third position very aggressive but very clear. The German took the third position and fight with Di Grassi for second place in the final stages of the race.
In LMP2, no changes but the Manor #45 of Bradley who was running third had to retire due to breaks issues. In GTE Pro, Ford #66 different strategy was over when they got a penalty –while they were running on third position.
But at the end Webber-Bernhard-Hartley repeats the victory of 2015 at Nürburgring, taking his maiden win in this season. The Audi #8 and Audi #7 completes the podium. Fourth was the Porsche #2, finishing ahead of Toyota’s #5 & #6 and the Rebellion.
In LMP2 the 24h of Le Mans champions, Alpine won another race and extends the championship lead. RGR Sport by Morand and Extreme Speed Motorsports completes the podium.
In GTE Pro, AF Corse made a one-two with Bruni-Calado and Rigon-Bird. Sorensen-Thimm completes the podium with the Aston Martin.