Shanghai WEC: Toyota takes 1-2 in stop-start race

Toyota recorded a fourth victory of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship superseason in a stop-start wet Shanghai race.

Shanghai WEC: Toyota takes 1-2 in stop-start race

Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi scored their second win in a row in the #7 TS050 Hybrid over the sister #8 car shared by Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi.

Heavy rain caused two lengthy stoppages in the opening half of the race, and it wasn't until hour four that conditions improved sufficiently to allow serious green-flag action to commence.

The order was mixed up as different cars made their first pitstops at different times, but the superiority of the Toyotas over the non-hybrid LMP1s was clear and the two TS050 Hybrids quickly hit the front once the race began in earnest.

It was the #8 car that had been ahead during the early stages after a mistake by Lopez in the first few green flag laps allowed Buemi by, but the #7 jumped back ahead because it made its second stop a lap earlier than the sister car on a lap that the field was being led through the pitlane by the safety car.

The #8 also lost further time being held up by a red light at the end of the pits, handing the #7 car an advantage of some 20 seconds.

That grew to as large as half a minute before Nakajima began to close the gap to Conway, but the safety car was deployed again with 20 minutes to go after a crash for the #17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1.

The two Toyotas held position in the final six minutes when the safety car came in, Conway crossing the line 1.4 seconds clear of Nakajima.

Jenson Button secured his first podium of the year in the surviving #11 SMP BR1 he shares with Russian duo Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov, a lap down on the winning Toyota.

The final safety car wiped out the #11 car's advantage over the #1 Rebellion R-13, but Neel Jani, Bruno Senna and Andre Lotterer had to be content with fourth after Lotterer dropped 16 seconds in the wet closing stages.

The #3 Rebellion lost two laps early on when Thomas Laurent hit the barriers under the safety car, but the first stoppage allowed the car to be repaired and it recovered to fifth, three laps down.

DragonSpeed's customer BR1 made it to the finish in sixth, while the solo ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 dropped out with engine failure, parking up on the main straight and dumping oil on track.

LMP2: Jackie Chan DC Racing wins again

LMP2 honours went to Jackie Chan DC Racing for the third time in a row, with Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stephane Richelmi picking up their second victory of 2018.

The #38 Oreca trio came out on top in a straight fight with the #31 DragonSpeed machine shared by Anthony Davidson, Pastor Maldonado and Roberto Gonzalez, despite two late spins for Aubry.

Third in class went to the #36 Signatech Alpine entry, but only after the #28 TDS Racing car, which was set for the place, found itself in the pits at the finish because of a drive-time mix-up and therefore wasn't classified.

The Fuji-winning #37 Jackie Chan Oreca lost a lap when Weiron Tan suffered an off at Turn 2 and ended up fifth in class.

GTE: Aston Martin dominates in wet

Aston Martin secured its first victory in the GTE Pro class with its all-new Vantage GTE, as the #95 car finished seventh overall ahead of the LMP2-winning #38 Oreca.

The #95 shared by Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen took full advantage of the British marque's speed in the wet conditions, as both Astons stayed at the head of the class for much of the race after cycling ahead in the early pitstops.

However, the #97 car of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin - which lost out to the sister car with a green-flag pitstop and was left on old tyres for the finish - was reeled in and passed with around 30 minutes to go by Richard Lietz in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR he shares with Gianmaria Bruni.

The points-leading #92 Porsche took third after Michael Christensen relegated Martin in the dying moments.

Christensen's teammate Kevin Estre escaped sanction after tapping the pole-winning #66 Ford GT of Olivier Pla into a spin during the first batch of green flag laps.

Ferrari's best representative was the #51 car of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in fifth, followed on the road by the lead BMW M8 of Martin Tomczyk and Nicky Catsburg in sixth.

However, Tomczyk was issued with a 23-second time penalty for making contact with the Ford of Harry Tincknell, dropping the #81 BMW to ninth.

Corvette's lone one-off C7.R entry was 10th on the road, but was promoted to eighth by both the Tomczyk penalty and a separate offence for the #67 Ford relating to a safety car pitstop violation.

The Dempsey-Proton squad recovered from the blow of losing all the points it has scored so far in the 2018/19 season by taking victory in GTE Am.

Matt Campbell, Julien Andlauer and Christian Ried came out on top in the #77 Porsche, 8.7s ahead of the Project 1 car shared by Fuji winners Jorg Bergmeister, Egidio Perfetti and Patrick Lindsey.

Race results:

Pos. # Drivers Car Class Laps Time
1 7 Japan Kamui Kobayashi 
United Kingdom Mike Conway 
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 113  
2 8 Spain Fernando Alonso 
Japan Kazuki Nakajima 
Switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 113 1.419
3 11 United Kingdom Jenson Button 
Russian Federation Vitaly Petrov 
Russian Federation Mikhail Aleshin 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 112 1 lap
4 1 Germany Andre Lotterer 
Brazil Bruno Senna 
Switzerland Neel Jani 
Rebellion R13 LMP1 112 1 lap
5 3 Switzerland Mathias Beche 
France Thomas Laurent 
United States Gustavo Menezes 
Rebellion R13 LMP1 110 3 laps
6 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande 
United Kingdom Ben Hanley 
Australia James Allen 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 110 3 laps
7 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen 
Denmark Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 109 4 laps
8 38 China Ho-Pin Tung 
Monaco Stéphane Richelmi 
France Gabriel Aubry 
Oreca 07 LMP2 109 4 laps
9 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni 
Austria Richard Lietz 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 109 4 laps
10 92 Denmark Michael Christensen 
France Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 109 4 laps
11 97 Belgium Maxime Martin 
United Kingdom Alex Lynn 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 109 4 laps
12 31 United Kingdom Anthony Davidson 
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado 
Mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 109 4 laps
13 51 United Kingdom James Calado 
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 109 4 laps
14 36 France Nicolas Lapierre 
France Pierre Thiriet 
Brazil Andre Negrao 
Alpine A470 LMP2 109 4 laps
15 71 United Kingdom Sam Bird 
Italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 109 4 laps
16 66 Germany Stefan Mücke 
France Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 109 4 laps
17 64 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin 
United States Tommy Milner 
Chevrolet Corvette C7R LMGTE PRO 109 4 laps
18 81 Netherlands Nick Catsburg 
Germany Martin Tomczyk 
BMW M8 GTE
LMGTE PRO 109 4 laps
19 67 United Kingdom Harry Tincknell 
Guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT
LMGTE PRO 109 4 laps
20 82 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa 
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 108 5 laps
21 77 Germany Christian Ried 
Australia Matt Campbell 
France Julien Andlauer 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 108 5 laps
22 56 Germany Jörg Bergmeister 
United States Patrick Lindsey 
Norway Egidio Perfetti 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 108 5 laps
23 88 Italy Matteo Cairoli 
Italy Riccardo Pera 
United Arab Emirates Khaled Al-Qubaisi 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 108 5 laps
24 37 Malaysia Nabil Jeffri 
Malaysia Weiron Tan 
Malaysia Jazeman Jaafar 
Oreca 07 LMP2 108 5 laps
25 54 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 
Italy Francesco Castellacci 
Switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 108 5 laps
26 98 Portugal Pedro Lamy 
Canada Paul Dalla Lana 
Austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 108 5 laps
27 70 Monaco Olivier Beretta 
Italy Eddie Cheever III 
Japan Motoaki Ishikawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 107 6 laps
28 61 Ireland Matthew Griffin 
Singapore Mok Weng Sun 
Japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 107 6 laps
29 90 United Kingdom Jonathan Adam 
Turkey Salih Yoluc 
Ireland Charles Eastwood 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 105 8 laps
30 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright 
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker 
Austria Thomas Preining 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 100 13 laps
31 29 Netherlands Giedo van der Garde 
Netherlands Nyck de Vries 
Netherlands Frits van Eerd 
Dallara P217 LMP2 99 14 laps
32 50 France Enzo Guibbert 
France Romano Ricci 
France Erwin Creed 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 88 25 laps
33 28 France Loic Duval 
France François Perrodo 
France Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 LMP2 - -
34 17 France Stéphane Sarrazin 
Russian Federation Matevos Isaakyan 
Russian Federation Egor Orudzhev 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 - -
35 4 United Kingdom Oliver Webb 
France Tom Dillmann 
United Kingdom James Rossiter 
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 - -
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Series WEC
Event Shanghai
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Jamie Klein
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