The Alley

Toyota wins Shanghai, Porsche clinches WEC title

Toyota have done all they can to keep the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship drivers title alive, claiming back-to-back victories at Fuji and Shanghai, but ultimately it was Porsche that clinched the driver and manufacturer titles.

The No. 8 trio of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima won the 6 Hours of Shanghai by more than a lap over their championship rivals.

However, the second place finish secured by the No. 2 Porsche 919 squad of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley was more than enough to secure the drivers’ title with one race left in the season.

“The second world championship title – this is kind of crazy and difficult to put in words,” Bernhard said.

“It is an honor to drive for the Porsche LMP Team and the brand, it is mega.

“I am relieved that we have secured both titles here. Now we can face Bahrain a little more relaxed.

“My stint was good but of course, we knew a third place finish would be enough.

“I could have pushed harder but it just wasn’t necessary. Instead we slowed the car down a bit for safety.

“Toyota was not really within reach today, but our car was reliable and the crew did another sensational job.

“This is what endurance racing is about. Many, many thanks to everyone and of course to Brendon and Earl.”

Their second place finish, coupled with the third-place finish for teammates Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy also gave Porsche the 2017 manufacturer crown.

The manufacturer title was also wrapped up in GTE-Pro, with AF Corse earning top honors for Ferrari.

In the top GT class, however, the drivers’ championship is still up for grabs.

AF Corse’s aces Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado sit just two points ahead of Porsche’s Fred Makowiecki and Richard Lietz.

Shanghai race winners Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell have clawed their way back to third in the standings with 127.5 points, just seven and a half behind the leaders going into the season finale in Bahrain.

 

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