Hartley and Porsche take second Word Endurance Championship victory
New Zealand's Brendon Hartley helped Porsche to a 1-2 finish in the World Endurance Championship series at the Nurburgring last night.
It was a maiden win for Hartley and his co-drivers Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard in their No 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid car.
It was the second consecutive WEC win for Porsche after its Le Mans triumph in June.
A 62,000-strong crowd enjoyed three days of WEC action on the first visit to Germany. The fans could not have gone home happier as Porsche took not only a 1-2 overall, but also in the LMGTE Pro class.
The win for Webber, Hartley and Bernhard means they are now just 17 points behind Silverstone and Spa victors Lotterer, Fassler and Treluyer in the fight for the 2015 FIA World Endurance Driver’s Championship standings.
The No.17 Porsche 919 Hybrid fought back from a long early pit stop, after having to replace its front bodywork. After this un-scheduled stop, Webber, Hartley and Bernhard stamped their authority on the race and capitalised after the sister No.18 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and Romain Dumas lost time when a trio of penalties had to be served for exceeding the fuel allowance on the car. An engine sensor that controls the fuel flow had failed on the No.18 Porsche 919 Hybrid
After the first five-second stop/go penalty, Marc Lieb engaged in a close side-by-side fight with Webber, which briefly saw the cars touching at turn two. However, the two longer penalties, 30-seconds and 60-seconds respectively, meant that any chance of victory was all but lost.
The No.18 Porsche recovery drive saw exceptional stints from Neel Jani and Marc Lieb in the final hours. Jani took part in a thrilling battle with both of the Audi R18 etron quattro’s in the final hour, as he attempted to climb up in to second position.
The fight ultimately got resolved at the final pit stop, and from there Marc Lieb was able to ward off any threat from Lucas Di Grassi in the No.8 Audi R18 etron quattro and Andre Lotterer in the No.7 machine. Lotterer found a way by Di Grassi for third place in the final moments of the race, and so maintained the No.7 crew’s 100% podium record in 2015.
Toyota Racing finished its home race in fifth and sixth positions after a clean run to the chequered flag. The reigning champions – Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi in the No.1 Toyota TS 040 headed home the No.2 crew of Stephane Sarrazin, Alex Wurz and Mike Conway.