Webber hails “best victory” in WEC after Audi “dropped the ball”

Porsche’s reigning FIA World Endurance Champion Mark Webber says that Saturday’s victory in the 6 Hours of COTA was his best in the series, after defeating the quicker Audis.

Webber hails “best victory” in WEC after Audi “dropped the ball”
Podium: race winners Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley, Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1, Porsche Team
Race winners #1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley, #8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis, at the start
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
Fireworks at the Circuit of the Americas
Race winners #1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley

Webber – along with teammates Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard – produced an amazing turnaround in the closing two hours of the race, when both Audis hit trouble.

A fortuitously-timed full-course yellow, combined with electrical and door issues on the #8 Audi and a crash for the #7 sister car, allowed Porsche #1 to claim its third win on the trot.

“This is probably the best victory we’ve ever had for car #1 because we had to get everything perfect,” said Webber. “They dropped the ball but we had to be there to capitalise on any door that was open.

“The level is very high, and that is where it is at now. You need perfect days to win.

“That’s what Porsche did. Timo and Brendon drove awesome, and it was a bloody good day. It was just an incredible race in the end.”

Tortoise beats the hares

Webber started the race on scrubbed tyres, and despite splitting the new-tyred Audis at the first corner, he was powerless to stop them establishing a huge lead in the first half of the race.

“It became pretty evident that they were going to be pretty strong and that first hour they started on fresh tyres and we started on scrubbed,” explained Webber.

“That was tactics that we knew were going to play out a little bit later in the race. We just tried to hang in there as best we could and the first hour was really tough for us.

“The Audis disappeared and even the Toyotas were really quick today and they were right on us. All three manufacturers in the first few hours were pretty tight.

 “Our mechanics need a special mention because they had no sleep on Thursday night. In these temperatures their eyes are falling out their head – so this is a special victory for those guys.”

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