The #1 Porsche of reigning world champions Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber claimed their first victory of the season at the 6 hours of Nürburgring in front of a weekend crowd of 58,000.
In a race which witnessed some immense battles, particular that of the sister car driven by Roman Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb going into the last hour against the #7 Audi of André Lotterer and Marcel Fässler (sadly for him Benoit Treluyer had to sit out this race whilst recovering from a recent back injury), Porsche came home first and fourth.
The #1 Porsche had a lead of just under 54 seconds ahead of the #8 Audi, with the #7 Audi holding station in third a fraction over half a second behind!
After colliding with the #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911, the #2 Porsche received a drive thru penalty, with Neel Jani commenting “I caused the accident, I hit the 88, we accept the decisions of the stewards”. They were then issued with a black and orange flag for not carrying our repairs to the left rear corner when the car came in for a pit stop. This meant the #2 could only manage fourth place.
As for Toyota, after their heartbreaking end to the Le Mans 24 Heures, sadly The Ring was equally disappointing. Time was lost early on due to the TS050 Hybrids being on the wrong tyre compound, something they could never recover from. The #5 of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima finished fifth, one lap down with Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi suffering technical problems in the #6 resulting in a disappointing sixth place.
The WEC season now moves outside of Europe for the first time in 2016 for the fifth round of the season, the inaugural 6 Hours of Mexico at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City on 3 September.
Race results for LMP1 - other classes to follow.
1 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) 194 laps
2 Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18) +53.787s
3 Fässler/Lotterer (Audi R18) +54.483s
4 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) +1m 37.324s
5 Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima (Toyota) –1 lap
6 Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin (Toyota) –4 laps
7 Imperatori/Kraihamer/Tuscher (Rebellion) –16 laps
17 Prost/Heidfeld/Beche (Rebellion) – 23 laps
Not classified – Trummer/Webb/Kaffer (Bykolles)