Timo Bernhard secured his second LMP1 World Drivers’ Championship in three years as he, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley finished second in the 6 Hours of Shanghai, putting themselves out of reach of the chasing pack with just one round of the season remaining.
The German, who won the 2015 title with Hartley and Mark Webber, admitted his second title with the Porsche LMP Team was difficult to put into words, but securing it early means they can relax more in the final race of the season in Bahrain later this month.
Bernhard admitted to playing it relatively easy in China, especially as the trio headed into the 6 Hour race knowing a third place finish would be good enough to clinch the crown, but they went one better by finishing second behind the dominant #6 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry.
“The second world championship title – this is kind of crazy and difficult to put in words,” said Bernhard. “It is an honour 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 the 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.”