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WEC: Defending champions Porsche steal win from Audi

The defending FIA World Endurance Championship of Porsche's Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard secured its third straight win.
The defending FIA World Endurance Championship of Porsche's Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard secured its third straight win at the 6 hours of the Circuit of the Americas after both Audi hit trouble late on to slip out of contention.

Despite Audi storming ahead into a 1-2 both cars were hampered by separate issues which enabled the #1 Porsche to sweep up to complete a hat-trick of race wins to jump to fourth in the overall drivers' championship to keep their slim hopes of defending the title alive after its dismal start to 2016.

With two hours remaining at the lead Audi streaking ahead Porsche were thrown an huge opportunity when the #44 Manor Oreca LMP2 challenger collided with the #66 Ford GT which forced a full-course yellow.

With the lead Audi having already pitted moments earlier, the Porsche squad was effectively handed a free pit stop to jump from a minute behind and into an 18 second lead when the stops shook out.

Looking to battle back the #7 Audi was involved in a clash with the #66 Ford GT – the second time it had been hit in the race – to end the LMP1's charge.

Earlier in the race the #8 Audi had been leading comfortably before an electrical failure saw Loic Duval stranded for 50 seconds on track before restarting. After dropping behind the #6 Toyota the Audi car then needed two pit stops to fix a broken door but battled back to take second ahead of the Toyota.

The championship leading #2 Porsche crew of Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and Romain Dumas claimed a third-straight fourth place and takes a 37.5 lead into the final three races. The #5 Toyota grabbed fifth ahead of the trailing #7 Audi as Rebellion once again claimed top spot honours in the non-hybrid LMP1 class.

The class leading #36 Signatech Alpine of Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Stephane Richelmi stormed to victory in Texas with ease as the #43 RGR Sport by Morand Ligier narrowly held off the #26 G-Drive Oreca for second place.

In GTE Pro the #95 Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen also steeled its grip on the championship with victory ahead of the AF Corse Ferrari's of Gianmaria Bruni/James Calado and Davide Rigon/Sam Bird.

It was double delight for Aston Martin with victory in GT Am with the #98 of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda claiming the win despite a heart-in-mouth moment after a spin late on.


Tagged as: Webber

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Timo Bernhard (GER) / Mark Webber (AUS) / Brendon Hartley (NZL) #01 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid. 05.05.2016. FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 2, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley - Porsche 919 Hybrid
Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley - Porsche 919 Hybrid
Timo Bernhard (GER) / Mark Webber (AUS) / Brendon Hartley (NZL) #01 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid. 05.05.2016. FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 2, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Timo Bernhard (GER) / Mark Webber (AUS) / Brendon Hartley (NZL) #01 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid. 05.05.2016. FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 2, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Timo Bernhard (GER) / Mark Webber (AUS) / Brendon Hartley (NZL) #01 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid. 05.05.2016. FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 2, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Brendon Hartley ensured that Porsche remained at the top of the WEC Prologue timesheets
Mark Webber (AUS), Porsche, WEC Silverstone [Credit: XPB]
Mark Webber, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb, Brendon Hartley [Pic credit: Porsche]
Mark Webber, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb, Brendon Hartley [Pic credit: Porsche]
Mark Webber during his first test with Porsche [Pic credit: Porsche]
Mark Webber in the Porsche LMP1 car [Pic credit: Porsche]

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