Peugeot concluded the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) with another dominant showing at 6 Hours of Zhuhai to record a 1-2 finish at the Chinese venue.
The pair of 908s, driven by Franck Montagny and Sebastien Bourdais had started from the front row, but initially it was the Audi R18s from the second row that appeared to have the better pace. Both of the German cars – started by Allan McNish and Timo Bernhard – passed Montagny for second and third on the opening lap and took the top two spots past Bourdais inside the first half hour of the race.
However, the Audi squad's good fortune was not to last. Continuing what has been an unfortunate theme in the ILMC this year McNish – co-driving with Tom Kristensen – had contact with a GT car. The impact damaged the rear bodywork on the no.2 car enough to force a two minute stop for repairs during the car's first pit call.
The stop dropped the pair away from the lead battle, but they remained on the lead lap until another long stop in the third hour. Their race came to a premature end in the fourth hour, victim of another accident on track when another Prototype car collided with back of the Audi under braking, inflicting irreparable damage to the wiring in the car that forced their retirement.
All the while Bernhard and Marcel Fassler, sharing the no.1 car remained in touch with the pair of Peugeots. However, the pair increasingly lost touch, leading for the final time before the lead had reached half way before watching the rest of the race from third place as the Peugeot's exchanged the lead during the pitstop sequence.
Of the two 908s the pole sitting car of Bourdais and Anthony Davidson was much the stronger, leading 177 of the 249 completed and claiming the race's fastest lap through Bourdais at 1:23.177. Davidson was given the task of taking the checkered flag 38 seconds ahead of the other 908. The no.1 Audi was a lap adrift.
The win capped off an ILMC season where the works Peugeot squad have won five of the seven rounds, with a customer year old 908 HDI FAP winning the 12 Hours of Sebring in March for Team Oreca Matmut. The only race the French manufacturer failed to win this season – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Rebellion Racing duo of Neel Jani and Nico Prost finished fourth overall behind the all-diesel podium beating opposition from Oak Racing and Aston Martin Racing.
Despite taking a 1-2 finish in the GTEPro class BMW could not push Ferrari from the top of either the manufacturers' or teams' championships.
It was a dominant showing for the BMW Motorsport cars, which only failed to lead five laps of the race – the left overs split between the two Luxury Racing Ferraris. As with the Peugeot's the car that set the pace in qualifying also did so during the race, the combination of Jorg Muller and Augusto Farfus eventually leading home by a lap from Andy Priaulx and Uwe Alzen.
Though the BMWs dominated, taking 28 points, plus one for Muller's pole position, the Ferrari crews did enough to hold onto the lead, mostly through the actions of the Luxury Racing pairing of Fred Makowiecki and Stephane Ortelli. The lone AF Corse car came home fifth in the GTEPro class, good enough for the Italian team to collect the team's title for the GT runners.
The Signatech Nissan crew of Franck Mailleux, Lucas Ordonez and Jean-Karl Vernay took an untroubled LMP2 win to end their own title winning season. Though only a single Oak Racing Pescarolo was entered against the impressive Nissan powered, ORECA 03 chassised team led every lap in class an eventually took a very comfortable class win after a late visit to the garage by the Oak team.
Richard Lietz led the Proton Competition team to GTEAm victory ahead of Larbre Competition's ever present Corvette entry.
Edoardo Mortara, Darryl O'Young and Alexandre Imperatori won the GTC class for Audi Sport C Racing.