The reigning world champions Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber won the thrilling six-hour race in Mexico City. By winning the fifth of nine rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Porsche further extended its lead in the manufacturers’ standings. The trio of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb came fourth in the race on Saturday and extended their lead in the drivers’ world championship.
The six-hour race at the multi-million population metropolis is the fifth of nine rounds of the 2016 WEC. The WEC grid was spectacular in Mexico City. The 4.303 kilometre long track lies 2,250 metres above sea level, which means thin air for men and machines. Furthermore, September is one of the rainiest months in the region. At the end of every lap at the “Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez” the drivers arrived at a right-left-hander to dive into a baseball stadium that can accommodate 26,000 spectators – fiesta Mexicana on steep grandstands.
For the number 1 car the race worked perfectly and they deserved to win the race. For the number 2 crew the strategy did not work out in the changing weather conditions. Because of weather forecasts not becoming reality, car number 2 was on the wrong tyres for the conditions more than once. On top of that, it had an incident when a LMP2 car touched the rear of the Porsche 919 Hybrid. But the team focussed on bringing home points for the championship.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “This was one of the most thrilling races I have ever seen – because of the enormous competition and also due to the changing track conditions. First and fourth means we’ve got a lot: another race win plus extending the lead in both the manufacturers’ and the drivers’ world championship.”
In total this is the 11th victory for the innovative Porsche 919 Hybrid prototype since its 2014 debut. In the current season the 919 has won four races, including the Le Mans 24 Hours. For Bernhard/Hartley/Webber it is their sixth WEC success. Porsche now leads the manufacturers’ standings with 201 points ahead of Audi (158) and Toyota (112). Dumas/Jani/Lieb lead the drivers’ standings by 41 points.