Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard have the 6-hour race at the Nürburgring decided for themselves. In an exciting and eventful WEC race, Porsche and Audi dueled for victory. Toyota had no chance against the German competition.
The WEC race at the Nurburgring in 2016 was best advertisement for endurance racing. With many lead changes and exciting duels with and without foreign contact in all classes dominated the 360 minutes of racing action in the Eifel. At the end of Porsche triumphed. As in the previous year. And how in 2015 the winners were Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard. The trio sat a total of 194 laps with six pit stops over the competition through.
Porsche to Audi: duel for victory at the Nurburgring
Behind Audi completed the podium. The faster of the two R18 wore the bib number 8. Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis came to Marcel Fässler and André Lotterer before the two-man team to the finish. Benoit Tréluyer, who actually sits in the Audi with the number 7, had to skip the race in the Eifel after a fall from a mountain bike.
At the race start Fässler could translate his pole position into the lead. Jarvis, however, lost its second position against Bernhard, the first inside purely braked on the first curve and completed his maneuver in the following turn around it. After that, a close long-distance race between the two German car brands developed. The second Porsche (car number 2) by Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb connection and mingled cheerfully with the setting of the front seats. Toyota could not go the pace and lost already in the first two hours over a minute on the top.
Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard had, with one exception a smooth Sunday. In the second stint a tire slowly lost air, which forced the trio to an early second stop, but who had no negative consequences in due course.
Lieb collides with GT Porsche
Just over an hour before the end (156th lap) Porsche 919 hybrid took the # 1 final the scepter and brought victory to the finish. Previously, even the Porsche command post Webber had instructed over the radio that he would let past Jani once the Swiss was within striking distance. The team order was a reason: the Porsche leadership wanted to help the driver championship leader trio to a maximum points haul. But a drive through penalty against the Porsche 919 Hybrid with start number 2 made destroy the project. Marc Lieb was the Porsche 911 RSR (LMGTE AM) with 88 crashed into the sixth curve to the rear and pushed the GT racer breaking into gravel. The accident had occurred in the 137th round - before the Porsche radio message.
The race organizers quoted lovers to himself. Born in Stuttgart could not take the punishment. Thus, the nearly 1,000-horsepower race car chugged once involuntarily through the pit lane and lost second place. The Jani later tried to retrieve in wild duels against the two Audi. Twice, however, he went as a loser from the field. First Duval blocked it off in an attack attempt in the first hairpin. He then fought Although from the first attack of Lotterer. But the three-time Le Mans winner sat down shortly afterwards in a wheel-to-wheel duel through. Including contact, which damaged the rear wing on the left side at Porsche. The race organizers responded again and ordered the Porsche had to change the part in question at another stop. So Dumas, Jani and love was only the fourth place at the end of a busy WEC run. Already in the initial phase was Jani gekreiselt for a contact with the Ford GT of Stefan Mücke from the ideal line.
Audi impresses with speed
After the debacle of Le Mans, Audi was back at the Nürburgring to its former strength. "Today we were capable of winning," rated Audi LMP1 manager Stefan Dreyer. The engineers were able to solve for the race in the Eifel the tire problem largely. At Le Mans, Audi did not bring the rubber to the optimum temperature window and gathered on too much abrasion.
"Audi has a saustarken race pace," warned Porsche LMP1 CEO Fritz Enzinger as early as Saturday. The fear came true one day later. Only an unfortunate Full Course Yellow-phase benefited from Porsche, the brand with the four rings took something out of step. However, on the quality and race pace Audi can build for the rest of the season. The new high-downforce package works. And unlike Le Mans had the technology under control. Only the car number 7, the nose had to be changed after engineers discovered an output loss in the telemetry data. The muzzle exchanged mechanic at one of the six scheduled stops.
Such as Audi and Porsche also brought his third Toyota aero kit for the season to the Nurburgring. In qualifying we lagged behind the competition by more than a second. "We have sacrificed qualifying for the race. Otherwise we would not have been so far away, "said technical director Pascal Vasselon on Saturday. However, it did not make the Japanese in the race, Porsche and Audi put under pressure. The TS050 Hybrid was missing in contrast to the races at Spa and Le Mans, where little pressure was needed, something to performance. And the advantage of being able to drive longer stints before you had to refuel, did not attack at the Nurburgring. Possibly prevent the tire choice. Unlike the competition, Toyota chose for the Nürburgring the mixture Soft Hot Plus from - a slightly harder tire compared to the soft hot-variant, Porsche and Audi were glued to their cars. The track temperatures of up to 28 degrees were for Toyota probably not hot enough. "Our package had produced unfortunately for this type of circuit is still not enough downforce," lamented PV. "And we are unexpectedly slipped out of the tire window. We have to analyze. "
The goal of reaching better placed TS050 Hybrid to Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima with already one lap behind. The sister car spent involuntarily 5:27 minutes in the garage. The reason was a loose part on the rear panel. More than six of position was no longer there.
Seventh place of rebellion racer won after six hours with the number 13. Behind the first LMP2 car crossed the line. The Team Signatech Alpine (car number 36) benefited from a failure of the competitors of G-Drive Racing in the first third of the race. René Rast led the LMP2 field with confidence. But a gearbox problem destroyed the hopes of a class victory and resulted in a loss. The Top10 completed RGR Sport by Morand (car number 43) and Extreme Sports Motorsports (car number 31).
Ferrari wins in LMGTE Pro
In the LMGTE Pro Ferrari 488 of AF Corse won - piloted by Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado. Sam Bird and Davide Rignon secured from the double success. Aston Martin, which took the GT pole the day before and dominated the first phase of the race, had to settle for third place in the GT standings. Ford is grounded after the Le Mans victory with fourth place again. You will be able to get over it. For the most spectacular scene of the race Ford was still in charge. The pit stop of the Ford GT with the starting number 67, the gasoline ignited, and covered the left side of the vehicle in flames. but the fire was extinguished in time. A faulty fuel valve to have been the cause.
In the drivers' championship, the trio Lieb, Jani, Dumas, each with 106 points lead after four races still. This is followed by Duval, di Grassi and Jarvis, each with 73 points. In the manufacturers' standings Porsche topped with 164 points ranked first. Before Audi (129) and Toyota (97).