Porsche took their fourth consecutive win at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday, with the #2 919 of Earl Bamber crossing the finish line just fractions of a second ahead of the #1 car of Nick Tandy. Finishing in third place was the #8 Toyota Gazoo of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Stephane Sarrazin, with the #7 Toyota finishing fourth.
The #1 and #2 Porsches swapped first and second positions a number of times throughout the six hour race. The change in tyre rules for this season, with six sets of tyres reduced to four for qualifying and the race, meant Porsche LMP1 team were forced to consider their strategy in what were scorching conditions.
Eventually in the final laps the cars synchronised and following team orders the #2 Bamber led car overtook the sister car and took the lead. The #1 car team of Bamber, Timo Bernhard currently lead the championship 49 points ahead of the Toyota #8 car team, while Porsche lead the manufacturers championship with more than 74 points over Toyota.
In LMP2 current champions Signatech Alpine Matmut took the win, despite a late pit stop to repair a damaged tail light with just fifteen minutes of the race remaining,
they romped home to an easy victory, with both the Vaillante Rebellion Oreca’s behind them #13 in second place and #31 in third place.
The AF Corse Ferrari #51 driven by James Calado took P1 in the GTE-Pro class. Aston Martins #95 Vantage driven by Nicki Thiim held the lead for the first part of the race, after taking the lead position from the pole sitting #71 AF Corse of David Rigon, however it was Calado that was able to get past them and claim P1 with #92 Porsche GT Team in second place and completing the podium was the #71 AF Corse.
In GTE-Am it was the Aston Martin Racing #98 of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda that took top of the podium with Clearwater Racings Ferrari in second and Spirit of Race Ferrari in third.
Over the weekend it was announced that the Silverstone date in the WEC calendar had been reinstated to take place in August 2018. This follows the news that the previously April date had been scrapped along with a number of other events in the new ‘Superseason’ calendar, however the British round now takes the place of a previously touted February round in Interlagos or Mexico.
The championship continues with the 6hrs of Fuji on October 13th.
Allison Remzi Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick (additional images ©Allison Remzi)