Strap yourself into the AUSmotive time machine and tavel to China with us to look back at the WEC 6 Hours of Shanghai.
Held across the first weekend in November Toyota’s late season form continued securing a one-two victory and edging closer to drivers’ and manufacturers’ championship success.
Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi consolidated their lead in the drivers’ championship by winning the race in the #8 TSo40 and enjoyed a comfortable 72 second margin ahead of their teammates in the #7 sister car.
Porsche had to make do with P3 and might have hoped for more after the #14 919 started from pole and early on both cars headed the field until tyre dramas cost the #20 car any chance of a decent result. In the end Webber and his mates had to make do with sixth.
That means the Audis filled positions four and five. The R18 hasn’t enjoyed much success since winning Le Mans and you sense Audi will have to come up with a great car in 2015 to maintain its recent dominace.
2014 6 Hours of Shanghai – top 6
- Buemi/Davidson (#8 Toyota) – 188 laps in 6h 01m 15.319s
- Nakajima/Sarrazin/Wurz (#7 Toyota) + 1m 12.564s
- Dumas/Jani/Lieb (#14 Porsche) – 1 lap
- Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (#2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro) – 1 lap
- Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen (#1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro) – 1 lap
- Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (#20 Porsche) – 2 laps
Now, get ready for our time machine to bring you back to the present where we’ll have a 6 Hours of Bahrain up date for you real soon!
Toyota Racing dominates in China
2 November 2014
TOYOTA Racing took its second consecutive one-two victory, winning the Six Hours of Shanghai by more than a lap to extend its lead in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi took a dominant win in the #8 TS040 HYBRID, their fourth of the season, to stretch their lead in the drivers’ World Championship to 42 points.
The 1,000PS four-wheel-drive TS040 HYBRID, which dominated the last round in Fuji, was once again in a class of its own with Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima taking second place in the #7.
That gives TOYOTA a 29-point advantage in the manufacturers’ World Championship with two races remaining.
The race started in bright sunshine, with Sébastien and Alex retaining second and fourth positions respectively during the first corners before an accident at the rear of the field brought out the safety car.
While the pack circulated slowly behind the safety car, both cars pitted for new tyres and more fuel, therefore eliminating the need for a short refuelling stop late in the race when more time would be lost.
When racing resumed after 25 minutes, Alex was the leading TS040 HYBRID as Sébastien had pitted a second time to top up on fuel due to a temporary refuelling issue at his first stop.
Sébastien overtook Alex while both soon moved into the top six and began closing on the leaders.
Setting fastest laps on the way, Sébastien battled past the front runners and into the lead by the time he handed over to Anthony, who resumed ahead. Alex was close behind and made two decisive overtaking moves to move from fourth to second.
The two-hour mark passed with the TS040 HYBRIDs stretching their advantage and soon after, at the next round of stops, Stéphane took over the #7 from Alex while Anthony continued for another stint.
A smooth race continued and, as the 100-lap milestone approached, Sébastien returned to the wheel of the #8, by now holding a healthy advantage over the #7.
While Sébastien continued for a second stint in the #8, Stéphane handed the #7 to Kazuki with more smooth pit stops helping to maintain TOYOTA Racing’s control of the race.
By the time Sébastien swapped with Anthony for the final time, the #8 held a one-lap lead over all cars except the second-place #7. That left Anthony and Kazuki to bring the cars home for the team’s third one-two finish of the season.
The battle for the World Championship now moves into the final stages with just two races remaining, in Bahrain on 15 November and Sao Paulo on 30 November.
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “This is the result we have all worked hard for, so thank you to everyone in the team; the pit crew, drivers and engineers who did a great job, particularly on tyre management. The car was quick straight out of the box here in Shanghai. We were disappointed to miss the pole position by such a tiny margin but the big job was the race today. It’s exactly the result we wanted for the World Championship and puts us in a strong position for the remaining races. Now we want to keep this momentum in Bahrain and Sao Paulo.”
TS040 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima)
Race: 2nd, 188 laps, 6 pit stops. Fastest lap: 1min 49.216secs
Alex Wurz: “That was a mega result for us. It doesn’t get better than a one-two for the team. After the opening laps I wasn’t sure we could manage that because we had a sensor issue on our car. We couldn’t use maximum power early in the race as one of the sensors wasn’t working properly. So we weren’t able to give the #8 guys a run for their money today. But still everyone did a good job to bring the #7 home in second place so I’m very happy.”
Stéphane Sarrazin: “It was a very good race for the team. A one-two is just amazing, as it was in Fuji. We scored big points for the Manufacturers’ World Championship today which was the big target. I didn’t take any crazy risks during my stint; I was careful in traffic and tried to keep a steady pace. The car worked well and I am happy with how the race went. The World Championship was the main focus for us and we achieved our target as a team.”
Kazuki Nakajima: “Congratulations to the team who did a great job today. A one-two finish means we get the maximum possible points today which is great for us in both World Championships. I’m really pleased. I couldn’t relax in my stint because the Porsche was quite close and it wasn’t certain we would finish second. So I pushed hard and I’m happy I could build a gap which made it a bit more comfortable towards the end of the race.”
TS040 HYBRID #8 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi)
Race: 1st, 188 laps, 7 pit stops. Fastest lap: 1min 48.694secs
Anthony Davidson: “Today the whole team did a great job with the right strategy and solid pit stops; everyone kept calm and focused on getting the result. We showed we had the fastest car in Fuji and we’ve done that again here in Shanghai. We didn’t want to take too many risks, particularly in traffic so it was a relatively quiet race for me; Seb did all the spectacular work at the start. To get such a result at this stage of the season is huge for us and now we aim to continue like this in the final two races.”
Sébastien Buemi: “I’m really happy because this is a good step towards the championship. It makes the win even sweeter when it’s a one-two; it’s the best result we could imagine today. The team performed really well, as did Anthony. All in all it was a very good race and the car worked well from beginning to end. It’s our third one-two this season, after Fuji and Silverstone, so now I can’t wait for Bahrain. Hopefully we can keep going like this.”
FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), round 6, Shanghai (China), LMP1 Race
Third podium finish for the Porsche 919 Hybrid in its first season
Stuttgart. For the third time the Porsche 919 Hybrid has finished an FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) race on the podium. Round six in Shanghai saw Romain Dumas/Neel Jani/Marc Lieb start from pole position and finish the six-hour race in third place. The sister car of Timo Bernhard/Brendon Hartley/Mark Webber came home sixth after a damaged tyre on lap 33 cost them a lot of time. Until then the two innovative Porsche 919 Hybrids had been lying one-two in the race.
How the race went for car number 14:
Romain Dumas started from pole position and was leading the race for 21 laps before the sister car took over. Dumas had stayed out during the early safety car period (lap 1 until the end of lap 8) and came in for fuel and tyres after 33 laps. At the end of lap 64 he handed over the car to Marc Lieb – while in third position behind the strong Toyotas. Lieb continued in third, came in for fuel and tyres after 95 laps and handed over to Neel Jani at the end of lap 126. Jani pitted one more time for tyres and fuel after 158 laps, and then brought the car home in third.
How the race went for car number 20:
Brendon Hartley started third on the grid and improved to second when a Toyota pitted during an early safety car period. On lap 22 he successfully passed Dumas in the sister car and was leading until his first pit stop after 33 laps. However, only one lap later he had a puncture, the tyre came off the rim and he had to limp back to the pits. He dropped down to sixth. After 66 laps Timo Bernhard took over the car. He came in for fuel and tyres after 97 laps and handed the car over to Mark Webber at the end of lap 128. After lap 159 the Porsche 919 Hybrid with Webber driving came in for the final pit stop for fuel and tyres and remained sixth until the finish line.
Quotes after the race:
Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Board, Research and Development, Porsche AG: “The weekend ended with a podium finish for our prototype in the LMP1 class and a one-two for the 911 RSR in the GTE category. Of course, it is a shame we had that puncture on car number 20, and the damaged tyre unfortunately dropped us back one lap. Nevertheless: pole position and a podium in LMP1 and a one-two in GT made it a very good weekend.”
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “I think it is surprising: Here in Shanghai we have achieved our second pole position and the third podium finish in what was only our sixth race in our first season. After a difficult start to the weekend, the team managed a great qualifying and exploited the car’s potential in the race.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “A pole position and a podium on the same weekend is a new achievement for us, and it is good to see the number 14 car’s crew up there for the first time after they have been unlucky a few times. Bad luck today struck car number 20. Without that puncture we would have come third and fourth. The good result is a bit surprising because we were fighting a lack of grip from the tyres here right from the beginning. It is remarkable that our team still found such a good car set-up so that we were able to achieve P3 on our own merits. Also it is positive that again we didn’t have any technical problems. Congratulations to Toyota for another one-two result – this is the current benchmark.”
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 14
Romain Dumas (36, France): “My stint was great. I had a good start and was able to stay in P1 for the first 21 laps. Later I couldn’t do a lot more but was able to keep in third place. The car was running well in the beginning and I was leading from my teammate Brendon, although he was on different tyres because we wanted to evaluate the differences. The car was working very well, but towards the end of the stint we were lacking performance, especially in medium speed corners like in the second sector. However, we succeeded in minimising this problem and the others couldn’t overtake us because we are so quick on the straights.”
Neel Jani (30, Switzerland): “I am very happy we finally managed to get on that podium after it had seemed to be within reach several times. In the beginning I had to fight understeer, but then the car’s balance recovered and I was able to defend against the Audi. At the very end of the race it was all about bringing the car home safely in P3 without taking too much of a risk, and this luckily worked out.”
Marc Lieb (34, Germany): ”I did the middle stints and I’m quite satisfied. It went well and the lap times were quite consistent. I managed to maintain the gap to the Audis and didn’t lose time to the Toyotas. I even came a little bit closer, but they’re just too quick for us to be able to get them.”
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 20
Timo Bernhard (33, Germany): “The middle stints I did went fine, I had no noteworthy problems, and for sure we’ve learnt a lot for 2015. Twice I struggled with the traffic when lapping other cars, but our major problem obviously was the puncture. It caused us to drop back to sixth and this was really a shame. Otherwise for sure we would have been fighting for another podium.”
Brendon Hartley (24, New Zealand): “It was a pretty good start to the race, nice and clean in the first few laps. Romain and I stayed out during the safety car period. Afterwards we had a nice little battle, which was fun. The car felt great. Unfortunately, right after the first stop we had a puncture – it must have been debris on the track. This was very unlucky as we lost quite a lot of time.”
Mark Webber (38, Australia): ”We had a lot of catching up to do today and in the end it was just too much for us to gain a better position. It was bad luck that Brendon had that puncture and, furthermore, that it happened in the beginning of the lap so he had a lot of slow driving to do to get back to the pits. That really hurt our race, but despite this we were competitive. Brendon and Timo did a great job as did the entire crew. I think this was almost a better team effort than our third place recently in Fuji.
Race result 6 hours of Shanghai (China):
1. Davidson/Buemi (GB/CH), Toyota TS040 Hybrid, 188 laps
2. Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima (A/F/J), Toyota TS040 Hybrid, – 1.12,564 min
3. Dumas/Jani/Lieb (F/CH/D), Porsche 919 Hybrid, – 1 lap
4. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (CH/D/F), Audi R18 e-tron quattro, – 1 lap
5. Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen (BRA/F/DK), Audi R18 e-tron quattro, – 1 lap
6. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (D/NZ/AUS), Porsche 919 Hybrid, – 2 laps
FIA World Endurance Champonship (WEC) after 6 out of 8 rounds,
1. Davidson/Buemi (GB/CH), Toyota, 147
2. Lotterer/Tréluyer/Fässler (D/F/CH), Audi, 105
3. Lapierre (F), Toyota, 96
4. Di Grassi/Kristensen (BRA/DK), Audi, 92
5. Wurz/Sarrazin (A/F), Toyota, 79
6. Dumas/Jani/Lieb (F/CH/D), Porsche, 73
7. Nakajima (J), Toyota, 71
8. Duval (F), Audi, 56
9. Prost/Heidfeld/Beche (F/D/CH), Rebellion, 54,5
10. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (D/NZ/AUS), Porsche, 48,5
1. Toyota, 226
2. Audi, 197
3. Porsche, 133
Audi scores 22 points in battle for WEC title in China
- Audi remains the runner-up in the manufacturers’ world championship
- Le Mans winners Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer second again in the standings
- Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen achieve fifth place in the race
Ingolstadt/Shanghai, November 2, 2014 – Audi just missed out on a podium place in round six of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Shanghai. Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F) in the best Audi R18 e-tron quattro had to admit defeat in the six-hour race. The Le Mans winners crossed the finish line in front of their team-mates Lucas di Grassi/Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen (BR/F/DK).
Audi had no chance of repeating last year’s victory on the 5.451-kilometer track at Shanghai. Qualifying had previously indicated that the R18 e-tron quattro is unable to show its full potential in tight turns and on long straights. In spite of this disadvantage, a thrilling battle with the number 14 Porsche for a podium position ensued. Thanks to a successful race set-up and good driving performances Audi remained in striking distance of its rival, who had achieved the best time in qualifying, for a long time. However, an additional refueling stop shortly before the end of the race deprived the Audi squad of any chance to clinch a trophy.
Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer were running in fifth place for a long time. However, a fifth pit stop that was made earlier than scheduled for tactical reasons gave the 2012 World Champions an advantage over the sister car and they achieved fourth place. As a result, the driver trio improved from third to second place in the drivers’ standings. Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen completed Audi’s team result in China in fifth place, with Audi outperforming the number 20 Porsche in the process.
After the sixth of eight WEC races, the brand with the four rings, trailing Toyota with a 29-point gap, remains the runner-up in the manufacturers’ classification. As a result, the title decision has been postponed. In just 13 days from now, the FIA WEC will be holding round seven at the Bahrain International Circuit. Audi – the early winners of the manufacturers’ and drivers’ world championships in 2012 and 2013 – is going to leave no stone unturned to continue to delay the title decision in the desert of the gulf state.
Quotes after the race
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “Although the results are a little better than those in qualifying, they’re obviously not satisfactory. We knew that it would be difficult here. The yellow period at the beginning helped our competitors with gasoline engines. They were able to refuel early and, as a result, saved a stop at the end. In our case, due to the prescribed fuel tank capacity and the stopping intervals, this wasn’t possible. At Shanghai, we simply didn’t have a chance on the long straights.”
Chris Reinke (Leiter LMP): “We experienced a difficult race on a track that doesn’t ideally suit our concept. We weren’t in contention for the top spot but the competition within the team and the battle with our ‘Group sister’ Porsche was all the more thrilling. The team and the drivers made use of their possibilities and did an impeccable job.”
Ralf Jüttner (Team Director Audi Sport Team Joest): “The way the race went was a bit unfortunate for us. The cars with gasoline engines profited from an early safety car period. As a result, they didn’t have to pit at the end. Only the number 20 Porsche, which had a puncture, ultimately made the same number of stops as we did. At the finish, it was trailing us. A nice battle ensued with the number 14 Porsche but due to the number of stops we were unfortunately not on an equal footing. But at Shanghai we were better than in the previous race at Fuji.”
Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): “In terms of positions, this was the maximum we could achieve today. The early safety car period didn’t help us because the cars with gasoline engines were able to pit earlier, which saved them a stop at the end. We had the disadvantage of having to refuel again at the end of the race because, due to the regulations, we have to compete with a smaller fuel tank. For us, the duel within our team was thrilling. That was high strategic art.”
André Lotterer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): “It’s a shame that we didn’t finish on the podium. We made the best of the situation. More isn’t possible on tracks with such characteristics under the current circumstances. Hopefully, things will be a bit better in Bahrain. We’re going to give it our all.”
Benoît Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): “It was a tough race. The whole team did a tremendous job. Due to the regulations we’re not good enough on the straights. But the car was running without the slightest problems. Driving was fun; we had a great sporting contest with our sister car and the Porsche. We tried to beat Porsche and finish on the podium but it wasn’t enough for that. We’re happy with the teamwork and are very motivated for the end of the season.”
Lucas di Grassi (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): “This wasn’t our best weekend. On a positive note, we improved by one position compared to qualifying. Audi took positions four and five but of course we’d have liked to battle for the podium. We gave everything but more wasn’t possible on this track.”
Loïc Duval (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): “It was a tough and thrilling race. We fought an intense battle with our sister car and with Porsche. But we weren’t as good as our competitors. We’d have liked to have been in contention for a top result but the outcome today was the best we were able to achieve. Now we’ve got to prepare for the coming races.”
Tom Kristensen (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): “Another bittersweet weekend. The whole team made no mistakes, the cars were running perfectly. The drivers gave their best. We had a great battle; that was probably good for television. Unfortunately, we weren’t good enough on the straights. At the same time, we had to refuel earlier. But nothing’s been decided yet. We won’t give up.”
1 Buemi/Davidson (Toyota), 188 laps in 6h 01m 15.319s
2 Nakajima/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota) + 1m 12.564s
3 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) – 1 lap
4 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) – 1 lap
5 Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) – 1 lap
6 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) – 2 laps
7 Beche/Heidfeld/Prost (Rebellion-Toyota) – 8 laps
8 Belicchi/Kraihamer/Leimer (Rebellion-Toyota) – 8 laps
9 Canal/Pla/Rusinov (Ligier-Nissan) – 11 laps
10 Dalziel/Gonzalez/Sharp (HPD-Honda) – 14 laps