Former Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia Champion Matt Campbell continued his strong form in the final FIA World Endurance Championship race of the year with his No. 77 entry taking GTE-Am victory in the 6 Hours of Shanghai in China. Meanwhile, both Porsche 911 RSRs fielded by the Porsche GT Team finished the Chinese endurance battle on the GTE-Pro podium.
Heavy rain caused a turbulent race and led to multiple safety car phases, red-flags and many changes of position on the racetrack. After six hours and a strong team effort, the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR crossed the finish line in second place. The cockpit of the 510 hp sports car was shared by the Austrian Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni from Italy. The No. 92 sister car driven by Kévin Estre from France and the Dane Michael Christensen came third in China. A total of eleven vehicles run by six manufacturers battled for GTE-Pro class victory on the 5.451-kilometre Shanghai International Circuit. Thanks to this result, Porsche has extended its lead in the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championship.
Porsche also had reason to celebrate in the GTE-Am class. The three Porsche 911 RSR campaigned by the customer team Dempsey Proton Racing and Project 1 concluded the race on positions one to three. Climbing to the very top of the all-Porsche podium was Porsche Young Professional Campbell, Christian Ried (Germany) and Porsche-Junior Julien Andlauer (F), who shared driving duties in the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR.
Spectators were treated to a heart-stopping finale in both categories. Persistent downpours and the onset of darkness required utmost concentration from drivers. At the wheel of the No. 91 vehicle, Lietz fought his way from fourth to second place in the final 40 minutes. In the No. 92 entry, Christensen overtook a rival in the last lap to secure third.
In the GTE-Am class, Porsche works driver Jörg Bergmeister from Germany driving for the Porsche customer team Project 1 swept past the second Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Dempsey Proton Racing squad in the penultimate lap and took the flag in second. Sharing the cockpit of the No. 56 car with Bergmeister was Patrick Lindsey (USA) and Egidio Perfetti (N). Position three was occupied by the No. 88 vehicle of Dempsey Proton Racing with drivers Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE), Riccardo Pera (I) and Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (I). The Gulf Racing trio, Michael Wainwright (GB), Ben Barker (GB) and Porsche Junior Thomas Preining (A), finished on ninth place.
Round six of the FIA World Sports Car Championship WEC will be contested in Sebring on March 15, 2019.
Comments on the race
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser (Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars): “After the first three hours of the race we were very uncertain whether it was still a race. But it turned into a brilliant event. Our drivers with Nordschleife experience underlined their prowess. Finishing second and third earned important points towards the world championship, it also expanded our lead, and we’re heading home from Shanghai feeling very happy. We’re also extremely pleased to have extended our collaboration with the Manthey Racing team for the next two WEC seasons. In the GTE-Am class Porsche locked out the entire podium. I’m thrilled for all three. A fantastic job – it doesn’t get any better than that!”
Matt Campbell (Porsche 911 RSR #77): “I’m over the moon with our win. The race was anything but easy. Christian had a hard time, especially at the start. When Julien then climbed into the cockpit the situation eased up and the team did a super job strategically. The track conditions changed again for the worse during my stint and it was a very challenging driving experience.”
1. Sorensen/Thiim (DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 109 laps
2. Lietz/Bruni (A/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 109 laps
3. Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 109 laps
4. Lynn/Martin (GB/B), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 109 laps
5. Pier Guidi/Calado (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 109 laps
6. Tomczyk/Catsburg (D/NL), BMW M8 GTE, 109 laps
7. Priaulx/Tincknell (GB/GB), Ford GT, 109 laps
8. Rigon/Bird (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 109 laps
9. Mücke/Pla (D/F), Ford GT, 109 laps
10. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Corvette C7.R, 109 laps
11. Blomqvist/Felix da Costa (GB/P), BMW M8 GTE, 108 laps
1. Ried/Andlauer/Campbell (D/F/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 108 laps
2. Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, 108 laps
3. Al Qubaisi/Pera/Cairoli (UAE/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 108 laps
4. Flohr/Castellacci/Fisichella (CH/I/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 108 laps
5. Dalla Lana/Lamy/Lauda (CDN/P/A), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 108 laps
6. Ishikawa/Beretta/Cheever (J/MC/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 107 laps
7. Mok/Sawa/Griffin (MAL/J/IRL), Ferrari 488 GTE, 107 laps
8. Yoluc/Adam/Eastwood (TR/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 107 laps
9. Wainwright/Barker/Preining (GB/GB/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 107 laps