Porsche Red Bull Racing WEC

Mark Webber wins at the Nürburgring again!

Mark Webber maiden wins at the Nurburgring

Mark Webber must love the Nürburgring. Back in 2009 he cracked his maiden Formula 1 victory in the Eifel mountains and early this morning he, along with his Porsche teammates, won the 6 Hours of Nürburgring. It was Mark’s first WEC race win.

It was a huge day for Porsche too, who dominated with 1–2 victories in both the LMP1 and GTE Pro categories.

Full results available HERE.


Mark buys himself a Porsche 918 Spyder

Mark Webber's Porsche 918 Spyder

It was Mark Webber’s birthday during the week. He turned 39 and, according to Porsche, he “gave himself” a new 918 Spyder.

You can see it pictured here in its sexy Salzburg red paint scheme, based on the 1970 Le Mans winning 917. Obviously, it looks sensational, we’re sure you’ll all agree.

Follow the link below for a brief video. And, if Mark bought himself a 918 for his 39th, how is he going to top that for his 40th?!

[Source: Porsche]


You’d love to get caught in this Spyder’s Web

Mark Webber and a pair of Porsche Spyders

Imagine your day job is a factory Porsche driver and that you’re thrown the keys to a new Boxster Spyder to drive to work:

You have to get the basics right. It doesn’t matter how much performance a car has if the driving position is terrible, or the seat doesn’t hold you properly. This is perfect: the wheel is the right size and shape and has no buttons on it. I need them on my 919, but not here. Nothing is more complicated than it needs to be; everything is designed to let you focus on the driving, and that’s what matters.

Then, when you get there, you get some time in a classic 550 Spyder:

If you look at it, you see how well Porsche understood the fundamentals of what makes a great driving machine even then. The car is incredibly light even by modern standards, and putting a boxer engine behind the driver is as good as you can get from the point of view of weight distribution and center of gravity. I loved the gearbox, the engine response, the handling balance, and the whole feel of the car. And it has that sense you get in modern Porsche sports cars that it could go all day, all night, and all the next day and still be ready for more.

And then the real work starts: the 6 Hours of Silverstone.

Sure beats sitting on your arse hanging around shopping malls for hours.

[Source: Porsche]

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Webber reveals Vettel’s “Multi-21” legal threat

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing

At the end of Mark Webber’s appearance on Australian Story (ABC TV) a graphic appeared warning there would be “carnage” when his autobiography was released. Mark’s book, Aussie Grit, was released in Australia today and in it he reveals how Sebastian Vettel escaped punishment from the Red Bull Racing hierarchy.

First, here’s was Mark had to say on Australian Story on Monday night:

So we got off the podium [Malaysia 2013] and yeah. He [Vettel] just come over. Just, “We need to talk,” you know. He said, “I’ve just fucked up. I fucked up, mate. I fucked up so bad,” you know. I said, “Mate, well,” I said, “Well, let’s just talk, let’s talk next week.”

I don’t know who spoke to him between Malaysia and China but we had a discussion in China and the discussion didn’t go well. And yeah, he just said that yeah: he had massive respect for me as a driver and, and not much as a person. So that really affected the relationship, obviously. At the time, we would hardly stand the sight of each other.

We now know who spoke to Vettel about the Multi-21 fiasco between Malaysia and China. That’s if we’re to believe this claim made by Mark in his new book:

When Ann (Neal, Webber’s partner) later pressed (Christian Horner) about why the team had never reprimanded Seb or issued any punishment for the ‘Multi 21’ incident, he admitted that the team had received a two-page letter from Seb’s lawyer a few days after the Malaysian race stating that they were in breach of his contract by giving him an ‘unreasonable instruction/team order’.

So, when running back to the team for support didn’t work, Sebastian was happy to get his lawyers to provide protection.

Just when you think Vettel might be likeable, along comes another story—and let’s not forget, it is only one side of the story—to make you think what an absolute tool the guy can be.

[Source: Fox Sports]

Porsche WEC

2015 LM24: Porsche claims win number 17

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

If Porsche didn’t have such a proud history at Le Mans achieving a one-two result in its second year would be difficult to believe. But Porsche went about the business of returning to the LMP1 category with enormous respect for its competition and seeing Porsche dominate and indeed tame the Circuit de la Sarthe for 24 hours is what we’ve been trained to expect.

The victory is Porsche’s 17th Le Mans victory. Seventeen!

It’s true, in a perfect world, and keeping an eye on the World Endurance Championship title, Porsche might have preferred its #17 or #18 car to win the race. However, there can be no denying the win to the #19 car which won on merit and with blinding pace during the night session.

Earl Bamber, Nico Hulkenberg and Nick Tandy are an unlikely grouping, but they are now Le Mans winners. They will share a bond for life and nobody can ever take that away from them. Well done lads, well done!

Wolfgang Hatz, the Porsche R&D boss put it succinctly, while reminding us of the resources Porsche has thrown at its LMP1 return: “A one-two finish in what is only our second year is an amazing reward for the guts of our engineers regarding the 919 Hybrid’s concept, and the relentless efforts of our 230 team members.”

Porsche 919 Hybrid final placings

1st (395 laps) #19 – Bamber (NZ), Hulkenberg (GER), Tandy (GB)
2nd (-1 lap) #17 – Bernhard (GER), Hartley (NZ), Webber (AUS)
5th (-4 laps) #18 – Dumas (GER), Jani (SUI), Lieb (GER)

Porsche WEC

Porsche wins 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

The #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid (Bamber/Hulkenberg/Tandy) has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and delivered Porsche its 17th win in the endurance epic.

The winning car led for more than half of the race and completed 395 laps (two off equalling the distance record) and finished one lap ahead of the #17 Porsche 919 (Bernhard/Hartley/Webber).

The final podium step in LMP1 was taken by the defending winners in the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro (Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer).

LMP2 was won by the #47 Oreca 05 Nissan (358 laps).

GTE Pro was won by the #64 Chevrolet Corvette C7R (337 laps).

GTE Am was won by the #72 Ferrari 458 Italia (332 laps).

A full listing of final placings can be found HERE.

Motorsports Porsche Video

“We race because it’s our tradition”

Porsche 917

Porsche has won Le Mans a record 16 times. It’s return to the LMP1 category in 2014 brought with it a wave of nostalgia. Xcar ran with that and made this 25 minute video which they have declared is “the definitive history” of Porsche at Le Mans.

[Thanks to John for the tip]

Porsche WEC

That’s gotta hurt!

Scene of Mark Webber's crash at 2014 6 Hours of Sao Paulo

These tyre marks were left by Mark Webber following his spectacular crash at the 2014 6 Hours of Sao Paulo. No wonder Mark had a “stinking headache”!

The image was posted to Instagram by Lucas di Grassi.

[Source: Lucas di Grassi]

Audi Porsche Toyota WEC

2014 6 Hours of Sao Paulo in pictures

2014 6 Hours of Sao Paulo

As you can see we’ve enjoyed a quiet break here at AUSmotive HQ and it’s a bit remiss to be starting the year with an update that’s well over a month old. That said, here’s a gallery of images from the final WEC race of the 2014 season.

It will be remembered for a few reasons. First, it was the maiden win for Porsche since their return to the LMP1 category. Their progress in 2015 will be well worth watching.

Second, it was the final race for Audi’s Tom Kristensen, who, thanks to his incredible nine wins at La Sarthe is known as ‘Mr Le Mans’. Kristensen’s #1 Audi R18 finished third and it was great to see him on the podium in his farewell appearance.

Finally, Mark Webber had a very big shunt towards the end of the race, which subsequently ended under yellow flag conditions. Thankfully, Mark escaped with nothing more than a “stinking  headache”.

Porsche WEC

“I’ve got a stinking headache”

Mark Webber, 2014 6 Hours of Sao Paulo

Mark Webber spent last night in hospital after crashing out of the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo yesterday morning. He suffered bruising and concussion but is in good spirits and has had teammates visit him to wish him well. Former F1 driver Rubens Barichello also popped in to say g’day.

“I’m quite sore this morning, am pretty bruised and have got a stinking headache,” Mark said. “I’ve got no recollection of the accident or how it happened. The team is looking into the details to find out more.

“Thanks to the medical team at the track and here at the hospital, who did a great job and are looking after me very well.

“On a positive note, it’s great that the boys in the number 14 car managed to bring home the victory, which is a fantastic way to finish off the season. I’m already looking forward to getting out there again next year.”

Word via twitter says that Mark has just been released from hospital and he will soon be making his way to his home in England.

Porsche Video WEC

Mark Webber OK after big crash in Sao Paulo

Mark Webber crashes heavily during closing stages of the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo race.

The final FIA WEC race for the year, the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo, ended behind the Safety Car after a massive crash involving Mark Webber.

Webber, driving the #20 Porsche 919, appeared to have some contact with a Ferrari 458 which saw both cars crash into the concrete barrier on the outside of second last corner at the Interlagos circuit. Details are not clear as to the cause of the accident but the entire left side of Webber’s car was ripped apart after he already lost control before hitting the wall.

Early reports suggest that both Mark and the Ferrari driver are okay. The official FIA WEC twitter feed has confirmed Mark is “awake and alert” in the medical centre.

Webber, who helped put the #20 car on pole position, was taken away on a stretcher and was able to give a thumbs up sign to the crowd at television audience.

You can see video of the incident after the break.

In better news for Porsche the #14 919 won the race, the teams’s first WEC race victory. Toyota did enough to secure the manufacturers’ championship, beating Audi to that title the first time.

We’ll have a photo gallery and reports from all three LMP1-H teams later this week.

UPDATE: A second video, with English commentary, has been added below.

Audi Porsche Toyota WEC

2014 6 Hours of Bahrain in pictures

2014 6 Hours of Bahrain

Toyota capped off a weekend of mixed results with champagne for both cars at the WEC 6 Hours of Bahrain yesterday. The #7 TS040 driven by Mike Conway, Stephane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz won the race. It’s the first win for the #7 car this year and Toyota’s fifth race win for the season.

However, the glory went to Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi in the #8 car, who finished well down in P11 after suffering alternator problems. Despite this they’ve done enough to wrap up the WEC drivers’ championship. With just one round to go Toyota Racing remains favourites to secure the manufacturers’ title for the first time as well.

Porsche also enjoyed a first this season, by seeing its two cars finish on the podium. The #14 919 once again started from pole position and enjoyed a reasonably smooth run. The #20 car had a scrappy day but the lack of major dramas meant they could get a valuable third place.

Audi had a pretty horrible weekend with major work required before taking the track aftrer discovering damage to the monocoques of both cars. In that respect they did very well to get out and compete and remain relatively competitive.

Yet, for the first time in the short history of the new World Endurance Championship format Audi is in danger of losing its world championship status. The team is 40 points behind Toyota with only one race left on the calendar, the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo later this month.

2014 6 Hours of Bahrain – top 6

  1. Conway/Sarrazin/Wurz (#7 Toyota) – 195 laps in 6h 00m 18.056s
  2. Dumas/Jani/Lieb (#14 Porsche) + 50.460s
  3. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (#20 Porsche) + 57.268s
  4. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (#2 Audi) – 1 lap
  5. Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen (#1 Audi) – 2 laps
  6. Belicchi/Kraihamer/Leimer (#13 Rebellion-Toyota) – 7 laps