The Porsche 911 RSR driven by Richard Lietz (Austria) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) has won Sunday’s six-hour race on Shanghai International Circuit. This marks the third victory of the season for the 470 hp winning racer from Weissach, which was developed on the basis of the iconic 911 sports car and has won on the Nürburgring and at Austin this season. At the wheel of the sister 911 RSR campaigned by the Porsche Manthey squad, French pilots Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet finished on third place.
With this result, Porsche has defended its manufacturers’ title chance in the fiercely contested GTE-Pro class of the Sports Car World Championship WEC (World Endurance Championship). While Richard Lietz has extended his lead in the FIA World Endurance Cup for GT drivers, as did the Porsche Manthey team in the team classification, Porsche managed to close the gap to Ferrari to just four points. At the final race of the season on 21 November in Bahrain, a maximum of 44 manufacturers’ points are still up for grabs.
The second race of the Sports Car World Championship WEC held in Asia was again contested predominantly on a wet track. The conditions on the 5.541-kilometre Grand Prix circuit on the outskirts of the Chinese financial capital were not quite as extreme as they were recently in Fuji, Japan, however the pilots still faced major challenges in the first four hours of racing. The start drivers Frédéric Makowiecki in the number 92 car and Richard Lietz in the 91 vehicle got away cleanly at the start and established themselves amongst the front pack of the competitive GT-Pro field. The Frenchman, who had taken off from the fourth grid spot after a difficult qualifying, had moved into second after just five laps. The Austrian, who had started from directly behind him and travelled to China as the leader of the FIA World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers, managed to settle into third place. After another ten laps, he manoeuvred himself into first place and, with a solid performance, laid the foundation for his third win of the season.
On the rain-soaked track, the 911 RSR again profited from its excellent traction thanks to its rear-engine concept. Frédéric Makowiecki left the track briefly during a duel and fell back to sixth place. But after the second hour of racing, the number 92 car, now with Patrick Pilet as the winner of the American Tudor United SportsCar Championship at the wheel, had again moved up into second place behind the leading Michael Christensen. The race strategy of the Porsche Manthey team proved a perfect match for the drivers’ performance: As the track gradually dried with two hours to go, the strategists made the call to change from wet tyres to slicks at exactly the right moment.