Toyota Wins 6 Hours of Shanghai as Porsche Seals WEC Title
The #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima, and Sébastian Buemi crossed the checkered flag first at the 6 Hours of Shanghai, but the Porsche garage celebrated the hardest. By finishing more than a lap behind the #8 Toyota, the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, and Earl Bamber was able to secure both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship.
It would have been hard to keep the Porsche drivers from achieving this, as they had only needed a third place finish to guarantee winning the drivers’ title, which meant that even a 1-2 victory from Toyota wouldn’t have necessarily gotten the job done.
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However, a 1-2 Toyota finish would have prevented Porsche from sealing the manufacturers’ crown and for a while it had looked as though Toyota would manage it with ease: the #7 Toyota had been leading the #8 car by less than two seconds as they headed into the final half-hour and neither Porsche seemed anywhere close to able to catch up.
But with just 38 minutes to go in the race, the leading Toyota made contact with the #91 Porsche of Richard Lietz, in the GTE Pro class, and required a 13-minute stop to make repairs. As a result, it finished seven laps down in fourth.
Still, the Japanese manufacturer will be happy to take its fourth victory of the season, tying the #2 Porsche in wins and setting itself up for a fifth and final victory at the upcoming 6 Hours of Bahrain. After a difficult mid-season, the Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 car has easily looked like the fastest car on the grid at the last two races.
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