McNish, Kristensen, Duval claim WEC title as Audi wins in Shanghai

McNish, Kristensen, Duval claim WEC title as Audi wins in Shanghai

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McNish, Kristensen, Duval claim WEC title as Audi wins in Shanghai

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Audi drivers Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval claimed the World Endurance Championship after a conservative run to third place in Saturday’s Shanghai round.

The final podium position was more than enough to give the trio an unassailable lead in the championship with one round left to run, despite victory for teammates Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler.

McNish and his teammates opted to play the percentages aboard their Audi R18 e-tron quattro after qualifying only fourth on a track that looked to favor Toyota’s TS030 HYBRID.

McNish also found himself on the wrong compound t res in the opening stint and was more than 40 seconds off the lead at the first round of pit stops.

“I feel massively proud of what we accomplished this year,” said McNish. “We came out the blocks fighting in the Silverstone opening race and went on to also win at Le Mans and in Texas. Today we drove a conservative race but I’m out to finish the season off in style in Bahrain at the end of the month.”

Lotterer, Treluyer and Fassler took the victory in dramatic style at the end of a race that looked to be going the way of the Toyota driven by Nicolas Lapierre and Alex Wurz.

Toyota led into the final hour before Wurz took over from Lapierre with 53 minutes of the race still left to run, which crucially meant the car would require a splash-and-dash fuel stop before the end of the six-hour race.

Wurz moved back to the head of the field when Fassler handed over to Treluyer 15 minutes later.

The Toyota remained ahead after Wurz made his fuel-only stop with 33 minutes to go and emerged from the pits with a slender advantage over the Audi. Treluyer edged toward the Toyota and moved past after only two laps when Wurz went off line in Turn 3 as he tried to negotiate his way through traffic. The Audi driver, who was on the fresher tires, was then able to pull away to a final margin of victory of 16sec.

The second Toyota, shared by Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin, retired from the lead in the penultimate hour when a bolt in the right front suspension sheered. 

LMP2 honors went to the G-Drive/Delta-ADR Nissan 03 shared by John Martin, Mike Conway and Roman Rusinov, which dominated the class despite a delay caused by bodywork damage sustained in the middle of the race.

Aston Martin finished 1-2 in the GTE Pro class, Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke (RIGHT)) bolstering their championship hopes with a narrow victory over Bruno Senna, Richie Stanaway and Pedro Lamy.

GTE Am honors went to the 8Star Ferrari squad of Davide Rigon, Enzo Potolicchio and Rui Aguas.

Pos  Cl     Drivers                         Team/Car                    Time/Gap 1.  P1     Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler       Audi                    6h01m33.343s 2.  P1     Wurz/Lapierre                   Toyota                      +15.374s 3.  P1     Kristensen/Duval/McNish         Audi                         +1 laps 4.  P1     Belicchi/Beche/Prost            Rebellion Lola-Toyota        +5 laps 5.  P2     Rusinov/Martin/Conway           Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan      +13 laps 6.  P2     Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle  OAK Morgan-Nissan           +13 laps 7.  P2     Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman       OAK Morgan-Nissan           +13 laps 8.  P2     Graves/Kerr/Dolby               Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan      +14 laps 9.  P2     Shulzhitckiy/Lux/Wirdheim       Greaves Zytek-Nissan        +15 laps10.  P2     Nicolet/Ihara/Cheng             OAK Morgan-Nissan           +18 laps11.  P2     Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz        Lotus                       +18 laps12.  GTE P  Turner/Mucke                    Aston Martin                +21 laps13.  GTE P  Lamy/Senna/Stanaway             Aston Martin                +21 laps14.  GTE P  Bergmeister/Pilet               Manthey Porsche             +22 laps15.  GTE P  Bruni/Fisichella                AF Ferrari                  +22 laps16.  GTE P  Kobayashi/Vilander              AF Ferrari                  +23 laps17.  GTE P  Lieb/Lietz                      Manthey Porsche             +23 laps18.  GTE A  Potolicchio/Aguas/Rigon         8Star Ferrari               +24 laps19.  GTE A  Narac/Vernay/Palttala           Imsa Porsche                +25 laps20.  GTE A  Campbell-Walter/Hall/Adam       Aston Martin                +25 laps21.  GTE A  Ried/Roda/Ruberti               Proton Porsche              +25 laps22.  GTE A  Bornhauser/Canal/Rees           Larbre Corvette             +26 laps23.  GTE A  Gerber/Griffin/Cioci            AF Ferrari                  +26 laps24.  P1     Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin         Toyota                      +47 laps25.  GTE A  Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani           Krohn Ferrari               +51 laps                                                                        Retirements:                                                                      GTE A  Campbell-Walter/Hall/Adam       Aston Martin                100 laps     GTE A  Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani           Krohn Ferrari               93  laps     GTE A  Bornhauser/Canal/Rees           Larbre Corvette             56  laps     

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