Porsche won the FIA World Endurance Championship race at Circuit Of The America, but not without pressure from Toyota.
It’s the first time since Le Mans, that the Japanese manufacturer has been right at the top and was in fact leading for about an hour, before Porsche got back in the lead. Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 ended up finishing only 22 seconds from the Victory, that Porsche #2 with Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley claimed. It was however with the help of team orders that the #2 beat #1 with Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy, which was actually the fastest car of the day. Lotterer however was hit by Toyota Gazoo #8, which cost him a bit of time – and then Porscshe decided to swap the two cars.
Signatech Alpine Matmut #36 was all dominant in LMP2 with Gustavo Menezes, Andre Negrao and Nicolas Lapierre, and they led almost from start to finish of the race. Only Jackie Chan DC Racing #37 with Alex Brundle behind the Wheel could be in front of them during the middle of the race. They couldn’t keep up the speed over the 6 hours, and ended up finishing 5th. Instead it was Vaillante Rebellion #13 finishing second ahead of teammates in #31.
The GTE Pro category once again delivered with all four brands being at the lead at some point of the race. Ferrari was overall fastest with AF Corse #51 driven by James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi winning ahead of Porsche #92 and AF Corse #71. Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen was the best Aston Martin in 4th, with Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK finising in 7th and 8th only.
GTE Am had a close fight between Aston Martin Racing #98 and Spirit of Race Ferrari #54 at the start of the race. After about 30 minutes of running, Paul Dalla Lana in the #98 was hit by the Clearwater Racing Ferrari #61. That gave quite major damage to the AMR’s diffuser, but the team was very swift at their repairs, and didn’t even lose a lap. Pedro Lamy drove fantastically, and he was almost two minutes faster than anybody else during his stint. Together with Mathias Lauda they crossed the finishing line as winners, with a 50 seconds gap to Clearwater Racing Ferrari #61 and Spirit of Race Ferrari #54.
Hartley/Bamber/Bernhard still leads the LMP Drivers Championship ahead of Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi, with Anthony Davidson in a lonely third. Davidson wasn’t part of the #8 this weekend, so that is purely down to his previously scored points during the season.
Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent still lead the LMP2 Championship, with Bruno Senna and Julien Canal in second, with Gustavo Menezes alone in third, after today’s victory.
Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell lead the GTE Pro Championship for drivers with Fred Makowiecki and Richard Lietz second, and Davide Rigon third.
GTE Am is led by Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda by only four points over Matteo Cairoli, Christian Ried and Marvin Dienst, while Keita Sawa, Matt Griffin and Weng Sun Mok are further 10 points behind.
The next round of FIA WEC will be run on 15 October at Fuji in Japan.