Preview: 2017 WEC – 6 Hours of Nurburgring


Porsche LMP Team, Porsche 919 Hybrid, LMP1, #2, Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley, 24 Hours of Le Mans Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe France © Craig Robertson

With the 24 Hours of Le Mans complete, the teams of the World Endurance Championship turn their attention to the title battles as this weekend brings the 6 Hours of Nurburgring. This year marks the third time the prestigious track has hosted a six hour event, and with the Formula One calendar dropping it from the race series the WEC has seen growing popularity around the Nurburgring circuit. This year looks to be bringing another thrilling event as the Championship battles are heating up.

LMP1

After the action-packed 24 Hours of Le Mans for the LMP1-Hybrid cars, the teams will be looking for a better outing this time they take to the track. Brendon HartleyTimo Bernhard and Earl Bamber now have a competitive lead in the Drivers’ Championship as only two of the LMP1 cars made it across the line and into classification at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Porsche leads the Manufacturers’ Championship after the double-points round. However, as both teams hit disaster at Le Mans Porsche only lead Toyota Gazoo Racing by 28.5 points. It is still all to play for in the World Endurance Drivers and Manufacturers’ Championships.

LMP2

Jackie Chan DC Racing nearly took the overall victory at Le Mans, meaning that the #38 team are now third in the overall World Endurance Drivers’ championship. It was 24-hours of ‘nearly’ for Vaillante Rebellion who had had such a strong opening 20 hours of the race, but saw all their hard work fall apart due to mechanical and reliability issues as the race drew to a close. Due to the events of Le Mans, the #13 Rebellion has seen itself taken completely out of contention for the championship titles as their disqualification puts them at the bottom of the Championship table and 76 points off the championship leaders.

The #31 Rebellion of Nicolas ProstBruno Senna and Julien Canal sits second behind the #38 Jackie Chan team, but have fallen 38 points behind Oliver JarvisHo-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent after only finishing sixth in class at Le Mans. With the #35 crew of Signatech Alpine only ten points behind them, The #31 Vaillante Rebellion team will be looking for a good race at Nurburgring and may employ team orders to make sure the points go to the right car.

Aston Martin Racing #97 © Craig Robertson

LM GTE Pro

The spectacular racing seen last time out in the GT classes promises more of the same as the competition for the overall GT Drivers’ Championship is closer than ever. After their fantastic class victory at Le Mans, Jonny AdamDarren Turner and Daniel Serra have closed in on the championship leaders Harry TincknellAndy Prilaux and Pipo Derani. Just nine points separates the teams as we head to round four of the championship.

But Aston Martin seem to have a BoP advantage coming into this race, which could see it a little harder for Ford to stay ahead. A lucky end to Le Mans saw the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK take the podium in the Pro class and only lose 14 points to second-placed #97 Aston Martin Racing. The two teams could easily take the battle down to the wire for a climactic end to the season.

LM GTE Am

Le Mans did not go well for Aston Martin Racing in the Am class. Pedro LamyPaul Dalla Lana and Mathias Lauda lost their championship lead to #61 Clearwater Racing as an early issue for the car saw them end the 24-hour event eighth in class. However, the timing of the issue falling on the #98 Aston Martin Vantage and the fact that most of the cars that finished ahead of them in class were exempt from scoring WEC points meant that the team were awarded points for fourth position.

This means that they only fell six points behind the Am Drivers’ Trophy Championship leaders and the battle for the title is still up for grabs. Third-placed Dempsey-Proton Racing are only seven points behind the Aston Martin team, meaning the top three are covered by 13 points. One DNF from the Clearwater #61 could see a complete shift in class leaders.

Its still all to play for with five rounds of the WEC left in the season. With no run away leaders in any of the Championship battles it is completely open for lead changes. Off the back of a thrilling 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 6 Hours of Nurburgring promises a spectacular endurance race you will not want to miss. Catch up on all the action from track side with TheCheckeredFlag starting 12:05 BST.