Porsche took their first victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship at the Six Hours of Sao Paulo, but it was a race of mixed emotions after a huge crash for Mark Webber, sending the Australian to hospital.
Neel Jani took the flag in the #14 919, but with the race finishing under safety car for Webber’s crash, which also collected a GTE Am Ferrari, all eyes were on the Aussie, who thankfully emerged with only concussion and bruising.
Aside from the crash things were going well for Porsche during the race, with the #20 of Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard leading the way in the early stages of the race, but by the midway point of the race all six of the factory LMP1 cars were battling for the lead, with both cars from Audi and Toyota leading at some point.
However, the #14 had one trick up its sleeve, with drivers Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb able to double stint their tyres, allowing them to be ahead of the competition even after suffering a puncture early on.
This allowed Jani to build a 14 second lead to the #8 Toyota of Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi up until the 28 minute to go mark when the safety car got deployed for Webber’s crash at Arquibancadas.
Coming home third, for the final time, was the car of Tom Kristensen, with the Le Mans legend retiring with a podium alongside Loic Duval and Lucas Di Grassi. Completing the top five was the #7 Toyota and the #2 Audi after the most intense race in WEC history.
In LMP1-L Rebellion Racing took victory, once again with the #13 of Dominik Kraihamer, Andrea Belicchi and Fabio Leimer, with the sister #12 and the #9 Lotus CLM P1/01 finishing second and third after battling various issues.