For the second consecutive year Porsche has taken everything in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC): victory in Le Mans, winning the manufacturers’ world championship in Shanghai and the drivers’ world championship at the finale in Bahrain.
In the last of nine WEC rounds in 2016 Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) came third, having started second on the grid with their Porsche 919 Hybrid. The new world champions, Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani(CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) only came sixth after contact with another car early in the race. Audi’s dominant one-two race result was an impressive farewell from the WEC.
The six-hour race started at 16:00 hrs with ambient temperatures near 30 degrees Celsius. After the sun had set at 16:45 hrs the air cooled down to 24 degrees.
How the race went for car number 1
Bernhard starts from second on the grid and lets Jani in the sister car pass him on the first lap. On lap 13 the number 7 Audi also overtakes him, Bernhard is fourth now. After 29 laps he hands over to Webber, who manages to improve to third by overtaking the number 5 Toyota on lap 43. Hartley jumps in after 59 laps, and after 89 laps Bernhard takes over until Hartley is back in the car after 120 laps. Bernhard once again jumps in after 150 laps, before finally, after 180 laps, Webber goes in to enjoy the final stint of his racing career. After a total of 201 laps he brings the 919 home in P3.
How the race went for car number 2
Jani improves on lap one from third to second. On lap 15 he is overtaken by the number 7 Toyota. Jani is third now in front of the sister Porsche. After 28 laps he has his first pit stop and continues. One lap later he has contact with a GT car and has to stop again: the damaged tyre and rear bodywork is changed. Now the number 2 Porsche is one lap down. After 60 laps Dumas takes over, after 91 laps it is Lieb’s turn, after 122 laps Jani is back behind the wheel and after 153 laps it is Dumas again. Lieb climbs into the car for the final stint to cross the line some 20 minutes later after 198 laps and becomes a world champion.
1. Sörensen/Thiim (DK/DK), Aston Martin, 174 laps
2. Bruni/Calado (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE, 174
3. Rigon/Bird (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE, 173
4. Priaulx/Tincknell (GB/GB), Ford GT, 173
5. Adam/Turner (GB/GB), Aston Martin, 173
6. Mücke/Pla (D/F), Ford GT, 172
7. Christensen/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 172
1. Al Qubaisi/Long/Heinemeier Hansson (UAE/USA/DK), Porsche 911 RSR, 171 laps
2. Ried/Henzler/Camathias (D/D/CH), Porsche 911 RSR, 170
3. Collard/Perrodo/Aguas (F/F/P), Ferrari F458 Italia, 169
4. Wainwright/Carroll/Barker (GB/GB/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 168
5. Brandela/Ragues/Taylor (F/F/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 164
6. Lamy/Dalla Lana/Lauda (P/CAN/A), Aston Martin, 84
Patrick Long (Porsche 911 RSR #88): “It was a perfect race from start to finish for us. Everything ran really well, including the pit stop in the safety car phase, which definitely decided the race in our favour. My teammates again put in a strong drive and in the end it was my job to bring victory home safely.”
David Heinemeier Hansson (Porsche 911 RSR #88): “What a great way to finish the season. Not only because we won but also because Porsche occupied the first two places in the GTE-Am class. A strong performance.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “Le Mans winners, manufacturers’ and drivers’ champions – for the second consecutive year we have achieved all our goals. That is an immense joy for us as the Porsche Team. I congratulate our three world champions Marc, Neel and Romain as well as the crew of car number 2.