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WEC: Porsche wins manufacturers’ title after Shanghai one-two

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Porsche’s domination of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2015 continued on Sunday at the 6 Hours of Shanghai as the no. 17 car of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard swept to its fourth successive victory.

After locking out the front row at the Shanghai International Circuit, the two Porsche 919 Hybrids faced a stiff challenge throughout the race as wet weather brought Audi’s pair of R18 e-tron quattros into play for the race win.

However, while Porsche opted to double stint its tires in the middle of the race, Audi lost time by making a switch to fresh rubber in the pits that cost the no. 7 of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler the lead of the race.

Although they did manage to recover some time after making an early switch to slicks when the track dried out and move back up to second when Romain Dumas spun the no. 18 Porsche, a blistering final stint from the Frenchman allowed him to re-take P2 and complete a one-two for the German marque.

The result secured Porsche its first FIA WEC manufacturers’ title, and puts the no. 17 trio of Webber, Hartley and Bernhard on the brink of the drivers’ championship ahead of the 6 Hours of Bahrain later this month.

In LMP2, the Signatech Alpine team sprung a surprise to claim its first WEC victory, beating G-Drive and KCMG to top class honors with its no. 36 Nissan, driven by Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin and debutant Tom Dillmann.

Porsche’s success continued in GTE Pro as Richard Lietz moved to within touching distance of the GT drivers’ title with his third win of the season. Racing alongside Michael Christensen, Lietz helped control proceedings in class as the no. 91 Porsche 911 RSR finished 40 seconds clear of the no. 51 AF Corse Ferrari in second place.

AF Corse did not go home empty-handed, though, as the no. 83 F458 Italia of Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas claimed their first victory of the season in GTE Am to give themselves a chance of winning the class title in Bahrain. Aston Martin Racing and SMP Racing rounded out the podium, and will also be vying for top GTE Am honors at the final round.

Todd LeDuc advances two positions in Monster Jam Power Rankings

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Neil Elliott held onto the top spot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings, but he has a new driver sniffing his exhaust as Todd Leduc advanced two positions to second this week.

The Stadium Series Green continues to hold the advantage in the Power Rankings with Elliott topping the chart, Morgan Kane in fourth, and Ryan Anderson eighth, but there is an equitable distribution among the other series throughout the field.

Notably, Leduc and his Monster Energy truck in the Stadium Series Red closed the gap with a 38-point overall victory at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Leduc achieved his win through consistency, pocketing the overall without winning a single individual event. Leduc’s best session was a second-place finish to Mike Vaters II in Overkill Evolution by .001 points.

Meanwhile on the West Coast, Elliott rambled on. Elliott won his sixth skills challenge in seven contests so far. That contributed to his 35 points for the event at PETCO Park in San Diego and allowed him to hold onto the No. 1 slot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings.

Colton Eichelberger also held station. Third last week, he entered the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on a mission in the Triple Threat Series Central. He topped the event points in all four events with timed race wins in each session, ATV race wins in three of the four, three wins in the speedster obstacle course, two freestyle wins and one win in the donut competitions.

MORE: Ryan Anderson and the anatomy of a Monster Jam freestyle run

Morgan Kane and Grave Digger had a rough night. He was ousted from the racing event in Round 2 by Max-D and Elliott. He failed to win either of the other two competitions of the night and ended with 29 points, which was a distant third to Ryan Anderson’s Son-Uva Digger (37) and Max-D (35).

Brandon Vinson moved up to the fifth position with three wins in the Triple Threat Series West. During the weekend he earned seven session wins, including a sweep of the speedster obstacle course and two victories in the two-wheel skills challenge.

Tom Meents debuted on the Monster Jam Power Rankings in 10th by winning the overall in back to back nights of the Stadium Series Yellow. The Saturday show can be seen Feb. 22 at 11:30 p.m. on NBCSN (click here for streaming). The highlight of Meents’ weekend were race wins on Saturday and Sunday, defeating Coty Saucier in a Monster Energy truck on Night 1 and Eric Swanson in Obsessed on Night 2.

Power Rankings

1. Neil Elliott–same
2. Todd LeDuc–up 2
3. Colton Eichelberger-same
4. Morgan Kane–down 2
5. Brandon Vinson–up 1
6. Tyler Menninga–up 1
7. Coty Saucier–down 2
8. Ryan Anderson–same
9. Linsey Read–up 1
10. Tom Meents-new for 2020

Upcoming TV Schedule (All showings on Eastern time on NBCSN)

Oakland: February 22 (Saturday); 11:30 p.m.
Miami: March 1 (Sunday); 12 a.m.
Jacksonville: March 9 (Monday); 6 p.m.
Detroit: March 21 (Saturday); 11 p.m.
Las Vegas: March 28 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Santa Clara: April 11 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Philadelphia: April 17 (Friday); 2:30 p.m.
Denver: April 25 (Saturday); 6:30 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals Racing: May 9 (Saturday); 5 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: May 19 (Tuesday); 4 p.m.
Monster Jam World Freestyle: May 20 (Wednesday); 12 a.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: June 20 (Saturday); 2:30 p.m.