Aston Martin Racing scooped the winners’ trophies for both the LMGTE Pro and Am categories while the third and fourth place finishes of the two AF Corse F458 Italias delivered for Ferrari a much deserved FIA Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers.
The 6 Hours of Sao Paulo started in bright sunshine and warm conditions. The threat of rain never materialised, and the competition between Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche was intense from start to finish.The race result was almost overshadowed by a dramatic accident which occurred 27 minutes before the chequered flag between the No.20 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Mark Webber and the No.90 LMGTE Am 8Star Motorsports Ferrari of Matteo Cressoni. Both drivers were taken to the circuit’s Medical Centre and, after initial examination, to the local Hospital Bandeirantes for further checks but their condition has been reported as satisfactory. The race finished behind the Safety Car for safety reasons. Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke claimed their second Pro victory of the year to round off a very good weekend for the British marque. Starting from pole position, the British-German duo’s win came despite several incidents including contact from the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari early in the race – pushing Turner off track – and an ‘off’ by the Briton while pushing hard to overtake the No.71 Ferrari. They admitted that a stop under one of the two Full Course Yellows and the late-race safety car helped them enormously as they didn’t have to make another stop for fuel.Second in LMGTE Pro was the No.92 Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSR of Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet which had a strong race and challenged the Aston Martins hard throughout the race and finished 7.5 seconds behind the winning GTE car after six physically tough hours of racing. Making it three manufacturers on the podium was the No.71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Davide Rigon and James Calado who celebrated their fifth podium finish of the season. The winners of the World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers, Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander, were hampered by a puncture during the Brazilian race and finished fourth, followed by the No.99 Aston Martin Vantage of Fernando Rees, Alex MacDowall and Darryl O’Young and the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR of Jörg Bergmeister and Richard Lietz. These last two were involved in a clash just over an hour from the finish which resulted in Rees being pushed into the wall at Turn 2. Fortunately he was able to return to the pits and the race, but his hopes of a podium finish at his home race were dashed. The Porsche driver, meanwhile, received a drive through penalty for causing the collision.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 the 27/28 March with the official Prologue at Circuit Paul Ricard.