Audi wins in Shanghai, also claims WEC driver’s title

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The Six Hours of Shanghai proved doubly successful for Audi, which came away with both the race win and the FIA World Endurance Championship driver’s title in China.

The No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotterer, and Marcel Fassler (pictured, from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans) took the checkered flag after what had been a strong effort from their rivals at Toyota. But in the race’s fifth hour, the race-leading No. 8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson was forced to retire with a suspension failure.

Then, in the final hour of the race, the No. 7 Toyota of Alex Wurz came to the pits from the lead for a final, fuel-only stop. But with older tires, Wurz was unable to stop Treluyer in the No. 1 Audi from taking the point with a half-hour remaining in the event.

“Our Audi was outstanding,” Treluyer said in a post-race statement  After we didn’t have the right tires at the beginning of the race, we became notably faster on a different type of tire. [Audi] No. 2 helped us out with these tire sets – thank you very much for that! This way, I was able to overtake Alex Wurz in traffic. It was a thrill all the way to the end.”

Treluyer went on to win over Wurz by 15.3 seconds, while the No. 2 Audi of Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval finished third to claim the WEC driver’s crown.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment since 1985,” McNish said in his own thoughts. “Even in karting, I battled for the World Champion’s title – back then at Le Mans by the way. In Formula 1, I didn’t have a real chance. Now, in my third motorsport discipline, it’s worked out.

“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together this year. Things were going really well. For me, the race at Austin was a very important element on the way to today’s success. Now I’ve got a feeling of special warmth in my body and of special wetness on my back, after Alex Wurz drenched me in champagne…”

IndyCar part-timer Mike Conway helped the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca/Nissan team earn top honors in the P2 category, winning alongside co-drivers John Martin and Roman Rusinov. The team was able to recover from having to repair bodywork damage in the middle stages of the race.

Also winning in Shanghai were the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 of Stefan Mucke and Darren Turner in GTE-Pro and the No. 81 8Star Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia of Enzo Potolicchio, Davide Rigon and Rui Aguas in GTE-Am.