Porsche win thriller in Mexico
Porsche win thriller in Mexico
The No.1 Porsche of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard took victory at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez today after a classic battle not only against rivals Audi and Toyota but the weather, heavy traffic and altitude.
All three LM P1 factory brands – Porsche, Audi and Toyota – had a single car on the podium after the six hour battle which came down to a battle nerves against mother nature as another rain shower threatened to upset the finish.
Bernhard was on board the Porsche 918 on slick tires as the race wound down into its final phases when rain began to fall. The chasing Audi of Andre Lotterer was closing on intermediate slicks – Michelin’s unique wet weather tire which performs like a typical intermediate tire but doesn’t is ungroved.
The Porsche ace made an exiting the stadium section with just minutes remaining and came inches away from finishing the race in the wall. He was able to reverse and continue on his way to claim the win.
The battle at the finish would have been even closer had Lotterer not also suffered a delay when he locked a brake in traffic and tagged the wall – also in the stadium section.
“The way it worked out at the end it was definitely not planned. We were in cruising mode but because we had a big lead but it shows how tricky it is. The race is never over until the flag and it was sportscars at its finest today,” Bernhard said.
“It was very close fight and I can just echo from Brendon and Mark said. The interaction between the classes went very well today. It was a tight circuit but it worked out very well.
“In the end the rain was shifting for the last 20 minutes and sector three was a bit wetter than the lap before and I made a small mistake.
“Luckily I got the car going again and I didn’t hit anything. Mark and Brendon did an awesome job today. How we prepared for the whole weekend was very good for Porsche with driving at this altitude with a new track.”
The chasing Audi was also delayed by a brake issue in the second half of the race. The sister No.8 Audi of Oliver Jarvis earlier suffered a heavy impact with the turn 1 wall after suffering a mechanical drama under braking.
“I don’t know whether it was the same thing that happened to the No.8 car,” Lotterer said.
“These cars are very complex and we have an electronic braking system that helps us to manage our retardation and suddenly my wheels locked.
“Afterwards it wasn’t functioning properly. It rarely happens but sometimes it does.”
The Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Stephane Sarrazin finished third ahead of the championship leading Porsche of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb.
Victory to No.1 @Porsche_Team for @AussieGrit, @BrendonHartley & @Timo_Bernhard #6hMexico pic.twitter.com/h0XUdppuNM
— Michelin Alley (@MichelinAlley) September 4, 2016
Congratulations to @Porsche #1 on winning the first ever #WEC #6hMexico! ? pic.twitter.com/DmBv8V3AwU
— FIA WEC (@FIAWEC) September 4, 2016
Watch our video news from #6hMexico with 11th @fiawec win for #porsche919hybrid and GTE Am class victory for #911RSR https://t.co/vIDALQF8OB
— Porsche LMP1 Team (@Porsche_Team) September 4, 2016