Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer third at ShanghaiLucas di Grassi/Loïc Duval/Oliver Jarvis fourth
Audi is keeping the most thrilling title race the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) has seen in its four-year history to date open until the finale. In China, Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer achieved third place and, as a result, continue to maintain second place in the drivers’ world championship before the finale. In rain, Audi was running in front in round seven of the season in China at times.
Lucas di Grassi/Loïc Duval/Oliver Jarvis (BR/F/GB) were leading the race just like their teammates Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F) during the third hour. In constant rain, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro car was completely in its element. The Audi drivers set good lap times although the special track at Shanghai favors race cars with more powerful hybrid systems. “We showed that we were able to even more than compensate for this disadvantage in certain conditions,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “On a dry track, our drivers were strong as well. ‘Thank you’ to the whole squad for postponing the title decision to the very last race.”
When the 5.451-kilometer track began to dry, Audi Sport Team Joest, in the final stage, switched to slicks early on both cars, putting its rivals under pressure. Second place was within in reach but, due to a full-course yellow period, was no longer possible in the end. Ultimately, Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer achieved third place, finishing on the podium for the seventh time in succession this season. “As a result, we scored 15 points and continue to maintain second place in the drivers’ classification,” said André Lotterer, speaking for his two teammates, on seeing the checkered flag. The German also set the fastest race lap after his fellow driver Loïc Duval in the sister car had managed posting the best single time at Fuji in the previous race. Duval crossed the finish line in fourth place at Shanghai. “It was a tough battle up to the end in which my teammates and I gave the maximum,” said the Frenchman.
Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport, summed up the weekend: “Our performances were good today and we delivered a thrilling battle up to checkered flag. We were strong in terms of driving, reliable in terms of technology, the entire crew did a superb job, and we acted well in terms of tactics. As a result, we kept the title decision open up to the finale.”
The decision in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will be made in three weeks from now at the end of the season race in Bahrain on November, 21.
1 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) 169 laps
2 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) +26.294s
3 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) +30.311s
4 Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) +50.906s
5 Conway/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota) –4 laps
6 Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima (Toyota) –5 laps
7 Beche/Prost (Rebellion) –11 laps
8 Kaffer/Trummer (CLM-AER) –13 laps
9 Chatin/Dillmann/Panciatici (Alpine-Nissan) –15 laps
10 Bird/Canal/Rusinov (Ligier-Nissan) –16 laps