Porsche put on a dominant display in Mexico City, claiming a second one-two in a row. The German manufacturer led from the front row on the opening lap and never looked under threat from the Toyotas. The #2 Porsche of Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley took the victory ahead of the #1 of Lotterer/Jani/Tandy.
The small qualifying gap between the Porsches and Toyotas in qualifying proved to be deceptive. Porsche pulled away on the opening lap and the pace never slowed, lapping the Toyotas 4 hours into the race. Porsche dealt with a faulty fuel flow sensor for the #2 and a drive through penalty for the #1 with a comfortable gap to the Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050s.
Although team orders were in play, Toyota allowed some close racing between their drivers, as the #7 and #8 swapped position on track on several occasions. The #8 of Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima finished third, with the #7 of Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez in fourth.
Rebellion takes first WEC LMP2 win
Vaillante Rebellion took their first WEC LMP2 class win, the #31 of Senna/Prost/Canal taking the honours. A superb set of opening stints from Senna gave the car a comfortable 40 second lead before handing over his to co-pilots. Prost maintained the gap before handing over to silver driver, Canal. The win is the first for Rebellion in an LMP2 class since 2009, at Silverstone in the Le Mans Series.
#24 Manor of Rao/Hanley/Vergne made a late race charge for the lead, with Manor new boy Ben Hanley challenging Bruno Senna. A late race spin in the stadium section ended the Manor big for the lead, and cost the car second place. Signatech Alpine took advantage of the Manor spin and were elevated to second, with Manor dropping to third. The disappointment of dropping to third will be lessened, as Manor take their first points paying podium in WEC.
Aston Martin beat Ferrari in brawl
Aston Martin came out on top after a race long brawl with AF Corse. The #95 Aston Martin of Thim/Sorenson take GTE-Pro class honours, ahead of the #71 Ferrari of Bird/Rigon. The 2 cars being tied together for much of the race and swapped positions several times. The #71 crossed the line first, but occurred a 10 second penalty (added to the final race time) for FCY speed infringements. All Aston Martin had to do was keep in touch with the Ferrari for the win. The win will be remembered for strong performances from Sorenson, which included a pass for the lead, and great pit work from the Prodrive crew.
Behind the leaders, the #92 Porsche and #61 Clearwater Ferrari provided the first major incident. The #92, attempting to lap the #61, dived down the inside into turn 1 and made contact with the GTE-Am Ferrari. Some additional clumsy contacts occurred, and the result was the #92 facing the wrong direction and a penalty for the #61.
The second significant GTE incident was between the #51 AF Corse Ferrari the #66 Ford GT. The #66 attempted to go around the outside of the #51 entering the stadium. #66 ran out of room and took to the runoff, and contact was made when the #66 rejoined the track. The #66 had a puncture and damage to the rear of suspension, whilst the #51 had a puncture. Fan opinions were divided on who was at fault, but the stewards were more black and white. The #66 received a penalty for the incident, and then a further penalty for not observing the pit entry regulations.
Next Stop: COTA
The next WEC race is north of the great big wall, at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday, 16th September. We’re hoping that the circuit will suit Toyota a bit more, to give us a race for the win.