Reigning champions Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley took victory in today’s 6 Hours of COTA, the Lone Star Le Mans event at Austin, Texas. The trio secured a third consecutive WEC win after a gruelling race held in challenging hot conditions.
It was an exciting strategic battle between the three of the LMP1 manufacturers – Audi, Porsche and Toyota, and all of them were represented on the podium as the No.8 Audi of Lucas Di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis and Loic Duval came second and the No.6 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS 050 HYBRID of Mike Conway, Stephane Sarrazin and Kamui Kobayashi took third.
The No.13 Rebellion Racing R-One-AER of Dominik Kraihamer and Alexandre Imperatori took a conclusive win in the LMP1 Privateer class to take over the lead in the championship standings.
The Signatech Alpine squad took a fourth win of the 2016 season as Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Stephane Richelmi extended their large points lead to 41.
Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) had started from third position on the grid. By taking the season’s fifth win, Porsche has extended its lead in the manufacturers’ standings of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Meanwhile coming from fifth on the grid, this year’s Le Mans winners, Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE), experienced a rather mixed race in the United States. They finished fourth in the six-hour race and defended their lead in the drivers’ championship.
When the race got underway at 5pm local time, ambient temperatures were over 35 degree Celsius and tested the drivers and mechanics to the limit. The cooler it became after sunset, the stronger the Porsche 919 Hybrid became. Thanks to a well-managed pit stop strategy, the winning trio took the lead some time after mid distance.
In total this is the 12th victory for the innovative Porsche 919 Hybrid prototype since its 2014 debut. For Bernhard/Hartley/Webber it is their seventh WEC success. Porsche now leads the manufacturers’ standings with 238 points ahead of Audi (185) and Toyota (137). Dumas/Jani/Lieb lead the drivers’ standings by 37.5 points ahead of the best Audi trio.
In LMGTE it was a double victory for Aston Martin with the No.95 Vantage of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen, which started from pole position, taking their first victory of the 2016 season to put them back at the head of the LMGTE Pro championship table.
The ‘Dane Train’ finished ahead of the two AF Corse Ferraris, with the No.51 488 just 12.3 seconds behind the lead car at the chequered flag. The No.66 Ford GT of Stefan Mucke had to pit early on due to a malfunction of the air conditioning system which sent the cockpit temperature above the permitted level. The German rejoined the race but well down the order.
The No.97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage that started the 6 Hours of COTA as the championship leader could only finish in 5th place behind the No.67 Ford GT in 4th, with the No.95 Aston Martin now leading the class by 12 points from the No.71 AF Corse Ferrari.
The No.98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy also took a pole to flag victory to record their third win in LMGTE Am this season. Lauda took the chequered flag over a minute ahead of the No.78 KCMG Porsche driven by Wolf Henzler and 1 lap in front of the No.50 Larbre Competition Corvette.
Aston Martin Racing has cooled down to the taste of champagne, after winning both GTE Pro and Am classes in a scorching 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. After clinching the GTE Pro pole yesterday, Nicki Thiim (DN) and Marco Sørensen (DN) continued their strong form to bring their #95 V8 Vantage GTE home first at the six-hour mark. Aside from the pit-stop windows, the duo led the GTE Pro field for the entirety of the race with both single stinting throughout. The result marks their first victory and fourth visit to the podium this season, with Marco Sørensen taking his first ever FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) win. The victory extends their GTE Pro championship lead to 12 points, places both drivers at the head of the GT Drivers table and adds to Aston Martin’s six point advantage in the GT Manufacturers’ title race.
Full results from Texas can be found here
Next next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship see's us off to the 6 Hours of Fuji on the 16th of October