WEC: Porsche scores 1st LMP1 win in Sao Paulo; Tom Kristensen finishes 3rd in final race

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Porsche has taken its inaugural LMP1 victory in World Endurance Championship competition, but perhaps not in the way they would’ve preferred.

With less than half an hour to go in the season-ending Six Hours of Sao Paulo, Mark Webber’s No. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid was destroyed in a brutal accident that also involved the No. 90 8Star Ferrari (GTE-Am) of Matteo Cressoni.

Thankfully, both drivers are awake and alert following the crash, which ultimately caused FIA race officials to have the race end under safety car conditions.

That gave the overall/LMP1 victory to Porsche’s No. 14 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas, and Marc Lieb, which battled back from a mid-race tire puncture to score a huge win for their manufacturer.

The No. 8 Toyota of WEC driver champions Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi finished second, and coming home third was the No. 1 Audi with nine-time 24 Hour of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen at the controls, closing out his superb racing career with a podium finish.

Kristensen isn’t the only one that’s leaving the Audi team, either. Radio Le Mans reported during its post-race broadcast that Audi race engineer Howden Haynes is also stepping down from his position as well after what was his 100th race with the 4-Rings.

But the spotlight in post-race was rightfully on Kristensen, who was joined in a celebration by former teammates Allan McNish and Dindo Capello.

Together, the trio was considered a “dream team” and stands as one of the most successful driver partnerships in the history of international sports car racing. Now, Kristensen is the last of them to hang up his helmet.

In LMP2, the No. 47 KCMG Oreca of Richard Bradley, Matt Howson, and Alex Imperatori claimed the race win by a margin of 18 laps over SMP Racing’s No. 27 Oreca.

A minor mid-race crash involving Howson had caused the KCMG team to fall back, but the No. 37 SMP Oreca came to a stop on track while leading, allowing KCMG to take and hold point the rest of the way.

No. 27 pilot Sergey Zlobin and SMP locked up the LMP2 driver and team titles simply by finishing the race after G-Drive Racing’s No. 26 Ligier crashed out at the end of the first hour with Olivier Pla driving. The WEC’s live Twitter account said that a locking brake led to that incident.

As for the GT classes, Aston Martin Racing had a doubly good day at Interlagos with victories in both the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am categories.

In Pro, the duo of Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke earned the second class win of the year for the No. 97 Vantage V8, and in Am, Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana, and Christoffer Nygaard got the No. 98 Vantage its third win of 2014.