By taking the season’s fifth win, Porsche has extended its lead in the manufacturers’ standings of the FIA World Endurance Championship. At the sixth out of nine championship rounds, held in Austin, Texas, the reigning world champions, Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) with the car number 1 achieved their third victory in a row in tropical weather conditions. Meanwhile this year’s Le Mans winners, Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) with cr numer 2, experienced a rather mixed race in the United States. They finished fourth in the six-hour race but defended their lead in the drivers’ championship.
When the race got underway at 5pm local time, ambient temperatures were over 35 degree Celsius and tested the drivers and mechanics to the limit. The cooler it became after sunset, the stronger the Porsche 919 Hybrid became. Thanks to a well-managed pit stop strategy, the winning trio took the lead some time after mid distance.
Porsche now leads the manufacturers’ standings with 238 points ahead of Audi (185) and Toyota (137). Dumas/Jani/Lieb lead the drivers’ standings by 37.5 points ahead of the best Audi trio.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “We knew during the entire event that these high temperatures were difficult for us. The fact we still managed to win such a race gives us hope for the remaining three rounds and our target to defend both championship titles. Soon we will be heading to Japan where we can clearly expect cooler conditions, which should help. All I can say is: Thanks to the team here on site and to our colleagues back home in Weissach. We have made another step on the path to winning the title again. This makes us very happy today and now we will be working painstakingly for Fuji.”