6 Hours of Fuji: Porsche #17 won and took the championship lead
Porsche Team scored its fourth 1-2 victory in 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship today at Fuji Speedway in Japan. Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber started from pole and crossed the finish line as the winners in their #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid, ahead of sister car #18 shared by Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb.
By winning the fourth race in a row, Porsche extended the lead in Manufacturers’ classification, with two rounds remaining at Shanghai and Bahrein. With points earned in Japan, Bernhard, Hartley and Webber took the championship lead from the crew of #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro – Andre Lotterer/Benoit Treluyer/Marcel Fassler, who finished the race on third place. The difference in championship classification is just one point.
6 Hours of Fuji was held in mixed conditions, first with rain and wet surface and later with drying track. The #18 Porsche had led for the majority of the race but sister car took the lead with eight minutes to go, probably because of team orders and to get important points in Drivers’ classification.
Rebellion Racing took its first LMP1 privateer class win since Le Mans as Mathias Beche and Nicolas Prost beat the ByKolles CLM P1/01. The #26 G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan of Roman Rusinov, Sam Bird and Julien Canal took the third LMP2 victory of the season after another tense battle with the KCMG #47 Oreca which saw contact on several occasions. Signatech Alpine finished second in class, with G-Drive also finishing in third after a collision between their car #28 and the #47 KCMG in the final 30 minutes. G-Drive’s Gustavo Yacaman pushed KCMG’s Richard Bradley, so the incident will be investigated after the race.
In LMGTE Pro class Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander took the win for AF Corse #51 Ferrari 458 Italia, its first since Silverstone at the start of the season. The #92 Porsche 911 RSR of Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki finished second, ahead of another AF Corse’s Ferrari, driven by Davide Rigon and James Calado. Dempsey Proton Racing took its maiden LMGTE Am win with Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Long and Marco Seefried driving #77 Porsche 911 RSR. They won ahead of Aston Martin’s crew in #98 Vantage – Pedro Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy. Francois Perrodo, Rui Aguas and Emanuel Collard in #83 AF Corse Ferrari finished third.
Photo: Porsche Motorsport