Porsche widened its lead over Audi in the FIA World Endurance Championship Sunday after taking a 1-2 victory at the 6 Hours of Nurburgring. The trio of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber finished first in their No. 17 919 Hybrid, just ahead of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb in their No. 18 car.
The No. 18 919 looked well poised to win the 6-hour endurance race after starting from pole, however the result looked out of reach soon after the green flag waved. The team was handed down a series of stop-go penalties and also experienced a minor technical problem, forcing them to forfeit the lead early on.
While the No, 18 919 struggled, the No. 17 car was dealing with its own tribulations. The car became stuck behind a pack of slow cars following a yellow flag, forcing Bernhard to lose 10-seconds of time. It then sustained damage to its nosepiece and was brought in for repairs while Bernhard and Webber switched driving duties.
Webber managed to work the No. 17 919 through the ranks and passed the No. 7 Audi for second place on Lap 40. This put him behind the Porsche sister car, however after the No. 18 received a series of stop-go penalties, Webber moved into the lead. Porsche says the No. 18 919 was given penalties due to a faulty engine sensor, which caused it to use more fuel per lap than the rules allow.
With Jani back in the car by Lap 96, the No. 18 919 was up to fourth. After picking up fuel and tires on Lap 129, he found himself locked in a battle with the two Audis. He then pitted on Lap 172 in third and handed driving duties over to Lieb, who passed the other Audi to take second place with just 45-mintues remaining.
The two Porsches then successfully defended their 1-2 positions from the Audis to win the 6 Hours of Nurburgring. The result adds to a rapidly growing list of achievements for the 919 hybrid that also includes victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 6 Hours of Sao Paulo.