Porsche scores dominant 1-2
The Porsche LMP Team scored a dominant one-two in the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City. The championship leading Le Mans winners Earl Bamber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley converted their pole position in the third victory of the season, ahead of team mates Neel Jani, André Lotterer and Nick Tandy. The trio claimed also the second win in a row, extending their points lead to 41, with four races remaining.
Jani/Lotterer/Tandy stayed with the sister 919 Hybrid in the first phase of the race but lost momentum when they had to serve a drive through penalty after Tandy was adjudged to have gone over the pit lane speed limit. The pair of Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid LMP1 cars struggled to match the Porsches’ pace in the high altitude and had to settle for third position with Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima. The other Toyota of José-Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway were third for the majority of the race but came home in fourth place after a late unscheduled pit stop.
The Vaillante Rebellion ORECA 07 Gibson of Julien Canal, Nicolas Prost and Bruno Senna took its first win in LMP2 ahead of the Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 Gibson of Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and André Negrão. Points leader Jackie Chan DC Racing trio Ho-Pin Tung, Thomas Laurent and Oliver Jarvis finished ninth after they a debris got into their clutch mechanism and triggered a long pit stop.
Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen took the first victory of the 2017 season in the GTE-PRO and a second consecutive win for the British manufacturer. The Danish duo had a tough, race-long duel with the Ferrari 458 GTE of Davide Rigon and Sam Bird who had started from the pole position. The AF Corse Ferrari crossed the finish line first but had a penalty of 10s added to its result for a speeding infringement under a Full Course Yellow caution period. They were classified second in class, 9.1 seconds behind the Aston Martin and the result was good enough to keep Ferrari in the lead of the GT Manufacturers World Championship.
The strong Porsche showing in Mexico was made perfect by the customer teams in the GTE-AM class. Dempsey-Proton Racing with the Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli and his German team mates Christian Ried and Marvin Dienst, celebrated their second win in a row after the 6H Nürburgring victory in the 911 RSR extending their championship lead.