Porsche celebrated its first endurance prototype win since 1989 when they took a well-deserved FIA World Endurance Championship win at Interlagos on Sunday after a sensational 6 Hours of Sao Paulo.
One entry from each of the three major manufacturers finished on the final podium of the season to bring to a climax the 2014 FIA WEC season. Neel Jani in the #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid took the chequered flag ahead of Anthony Davidson’s Toyota TS 040 Hybrid after a ferocious race long duel. His team mates Marc Lieb and roman Dumas also drove impeccable stints to ensure that Porsche ended their debut year in the FIA WEC on a massive high.The race ended under safety car after a serious accident between Mark Webber’s pole winning #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid and the #90 8 Star entered Ferrari 458 Italia of Matteo Cressoni. Cressoni was checked by the medical staff at the side of the track and cleared, while Webber, who was awake and alert, was taken to the circuit medical centre for further examination.The second place earned by the #8 Toyota Racing duo of Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson clinched the 2014 FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ title for the Japanese manufacturer. This was despite contact with the #75 Prospeed Porsche which sent Buemi in to a spin during the second hour.At the final stop the #8 Toyota Racing crew elected to take fresh tyres and Davidson re-entered the circuit 17-seconds behind Jani. Davidson was making steady in-roads in to the lead when the Webber/Cressoni accident took place and ended any charge for a fifth race victory of the season.For many reasons it was a joyous day for the FIA World Endurance Championship in Brazil. Tom Kristensen finished his final ever race in third place to delight his team and his legions of fans worldwide. Lucas Di Grassi and Loic Duval set up the hard-earned podium place, which was the first for the #1 Audi trio since COTA in September.The legendary Dane completed his fairy-tale career by spraying champagne over his team mates, rivals and the Audi Sport Team Joest personnel below him on the podium in an unforgettable scene. It was a fitting way for a remarkable career to come to a close.In fourth position was the #7 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid driven by Stephane Sarrazin, Alex Wurz and Mike Conway. The winners of the last round in Bahrain were delayed after Wurz was adjudged to have impeded Brendon Hartley at turn four. The resulting drive through penalty ensured they missed out on a podium position.The #2 Audi R18 e-tron qauttro driven by Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler finished in fifth position after being delayed on the opening lap after contact with an LMP2 car appeared to trigger a brief electrical problem. A brilliant recovery drive saw them in contention for at least a podium position as Lotterer scorched to a fastest lap of 1m18.367. A brief excursion though lost some momentum and after the safety car period they had to settle for fifth.The #27 SMP Racing crew take the LMP2 teams title and Sergey Zlobin was crowned Drivers’ champion. However, it was a tough race for the #27 SMP Racing Oreca-Nissan as they lost many laps in the pits with a variety of problems. The Russian teams’ fortitude shone through these issues though as Maurizio Mediani and Nicolas Minassian ensured that Zlobin became the first Russian to claim an endurance world title in an LMP car. The #27 SMP trio also took the LMP2 Teams title.KCMG took its third victory of the 2014 season with a clear LMP2 class win in Brazil. Richard Bradley, Matt Howson and Alexander Imperatori led the race early on and then survived a brush with the Armco midway through the race. The Hong Kong entered team had a clear run to the chequered flag when the #37 SMP Racing Oreca-Nissan lost drive and was forced to stop on the circuit, triggering the second and final full course yellow of the race.There was devastation for the G-Drive Racing team as they saw their title hopes end just in to the second hour when Olivier Pla suffered a suspected mechanical problem under braking for the first corner. The resultant accident caused the first of the two full course yellow periods of the race. Pla emerged unhurt from the accident.The #13 Rebellion R-One Toyota partnership of Andrea Belicchi, Dominik Kraihamer and Fabio Leimer took a second win of the season in the LMP1-L class.The 6 Hours of Sao Paulo was a typically exciting, enthralling and dramatic race, in what has been a hugely competitive year of FIA World Endurance Championship racing in 2014.The 2015 season will begin on 27/28 March with the official Prologue at Circuit Paul Ricard.