The fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) took place at São Paulo where the Audi team, for the first time since March, didn’t take 1st place. However, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro finished in 2nd behind Toyota. The runner-up spot gives drivers Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer a 3-point gain in the championship, leaving them at a 7.5-point advantage over their immediate rivals in the championship.
The Audi R18 ultra, driven by teammates Lucas di Grassi/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish, finished right behind the e-tron in 3rd, giving Audi a 2-3 finish at São Paulo.
The team fought a hard battle at the 5th round race. Early in, McNish was actually in 2nd position, ahead of Benoît Tréluyer, but after nine laps the Frenchman overtook the Scotsman. And to further set the R18 ultra back, Tom Kristensen took over the seat and spun, dropping him well behind the e-tron. Fortunately, the eight-time Le Mans winner from Denmark recovered swiftly. Lucas Di Grassi took over the R18 ultra and performed flawlessly for his debut with Audi, even setting the fastest race lap for Audi, thus landing the third place finish in his first ever endurance race with his team-mates, with a gap of only 14 seconds between the R18 e-tron.
With three more races to go in Bahrain, Japan and China in the next six weeks, the championship is still up for grabs for any of the drivers whil Audi has already secured a win in the manufacturer’s championship at Silverstone earlier this season.
|1 ||Wurz/Lapierre (Toyota) ||247 laps |
|2 ||Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) ||+ 1m 00.778s |
|3 ||di Grassi/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 ultra) ||+ 1m 14.679s |
|4 ||Prost/Jani (Lola-Toyota) ||- 5 laps|
|5 ||Belicchi/Primat (Lola-Toyota) ||- 7 laps|
|6 ||Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD-Honda) ||- 7 laps |
|7 ||Potolicchio/Dalziel/Sarrazin (HPD-Honda) ||- 13 laps|
|8 ||Lahaye/Nicolet/Pla (Morgan-Nissan) ||-16 laps|
|9 ||Kaffer/Minassian/Perez Companc (Oreca-Nissan) ||- 17 laps|
|10 ||Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck (HPD-Honda) ||- 17 laps |