Toyota Racing took its second consecutive FIA World Endurance Championship 1-2 finish at Shanghai today with the #8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid heading home the #7 car to further extend the championship lead to 42pts.
Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi finished the race 1m12s ahead of their stable mates – Alex Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima, after another dominant display by the Japanese manufacturer in front of a huge crowd.
Both of the Toyota Racing LMP1-H entries took advantage of an early safety car period to top up on fuel which ensured that they completed the race on just five scheduled stops apiece. Sebastien Buemi drove a spectacular opening stint to carve his way through the field, despite having to make an extra visit to his pit box after the initial early stop. This was due to a re-fuelling issue but the Swiss ace soon caught and passed the sister Toyota driven by Alex Wurz. From there, Buemi and later Davidson both opened up a significant gap to their team mates in the #7 car.
Completing the podium today at Shanghai and, as a result scoring their first podium position of the season, was the #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Neel Jani. The pole sitting car led in the early exchanges and had a trouble free race to finish just off the lead lap.
The #20 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid had led the race during the first stint but was soon delayed after Brendon Hartley suffered a left rear puncture. Despite this, Timo Bernhard, and then Mark Webber, showed consistent pace to eventually finish in sixth position.
Audi Sport Team Joest completed the race in fourth and fifth positions with the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro eventually just finishing ahead of the #1 car when it pitted earlier in the final stint for a ‘splash and dash’ sixth pit stop.
In the LMP1-L class the #12 Rebellion Racing entry of Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost and Mathias Beche took a fifth victory of the 2014 season ahead of the similar #13 Rebellion R-One-Toyota.
G-Drive Racing scored a conclusive victory in LMP2 with Olivier Pla, Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal further reducing the championship points deficit to just eight. Sergey Zlobin finished third on track but second in the points in the #27 SMP Racing Oreca-Nissan along with team mates Nicolas Minassian and Maurizio Mediani.
It was an imperious victory for the G-Drive Racing squad with Olivier Pla setting the foundation with more mesmerizing pace throughout his stints.
Taking a very creditable runner-up position was the Tequila Patron-backed car #30 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD LMP2 car of Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp and Ricardo Gonzalez although, as a single-race entrant, the team does not score points.
The KCMG Oreca-Nissan had led briefly on the opening lap but a fuel pump problem slowed the car, which was then hit by the following #55 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Gianmaria Bruni leading to both cars retiring.
The seventh round of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship takes place on Saturday 15th November at the Bahrain International Circuit.