The Alley

WEC Shanghai Preview

With just two races left in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship, the championship is still up for grabs between Porsche and Toyota heading to Shanghai.

The No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber maintains a 39 point lead despite finishing off the podium in Fuji, snapping a 12-race podium and four-race win streak.

“I’ve always enjoyed the Shanghai circuit because of its various elements,” Timo Bernhard said.

“For instance, the long back straight and the middle sector with its high demands on driving technique. Also the track suits our Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“In 2015 and 2016 respectively we won there and took the title for Porsche. These are great memories and now we want to put in another good performance there.”

The No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson sits second, closing the gap to Porsche with their win at the team’s home race of Fuji.

In the much tighter GTE-Pro race, AF Corse’s James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi sit atop the standings. The pair took the lead from the now-fourth-place Ford duo of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell with their win in Fuji.

“For Harry and me it’s all about having the perfect weekend and getting back in the fight for the championship,” Priaulx said.

“Shanghai was a good track for us last year so hopefully we can produce the same result this time around.

“Fuji was a strange one for us with very unusual conditions, so now we need a strong race with no drama.

“There are two more races to go and we’re still in it and still feeling positive.

“Shanghai is a circuit that suits our car so we need to be going there to score maximum points. It’s win or bust!”

Porsche’s Richard Lietz and Fred Makowiecki sit second in the championship, just five points off the lead. The Porsche drivers are still chasing their first win of the season, but a consistent podium finish record has bolstered their championship chances going into the penultimate race at Shanghai.

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