19.11.2016 Podium finish for Timo, Mark and Brendon in a highly emotional finale
For the second consecutive year Porsche has taken everything in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC): victory in Le Mans, winning the manufacturers’ world championship in Shanghai and now again the drivers’ world championship at the finale in Bahrain. In the last of nine WEC rounds in 2016 Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber came third, having started second on the grid with their Porsche 919 Hybrid. The new world champions, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb only came sixth after contact with another car early in the race. Audi’s dominant one-two race result was an impressive farewell from the WEC.
The six-hour race started at 16:00 hrs with ambient temperatures near 30 degrees Celsius. After the sun had set at 16:45 hrs the air cooled down to 24 degrees.
How the race went for car number 1:
Bernhard starts from second on the grid and lets Jani in the sister car pass him on the first lap. On lap 13 the number 7 Audi also overtakes him, Bernhard is fourth now. After 29 laps he hands over to Webber, who manages to improve to third by overtaking the number 5 Toyota on lap 43. Hartley jumps in after 59 laps, and after 89 laps Bernhard takes over until Hartley is back in the car after 120 laps. Bernhard once again jumps in after 150 laps, before finally, after 180 laps, Webber goes in to enjoy the final stint of his racing career. After a total of 201 laps he brings the 919 home in P3.
“My start wasn’t too bad,” said Timo. “Neel came on the inside and, of course, I left him room to overtake. We were about the same speed and neither of us was quick enough to catch the Audi, but clearly we beat Toyota. For us it was very important to hand over the car to Mark at the end and enable him to do the last laps, and we wanted to be together with him on the podium for one last time. This was a very emotional day, too much to put it into words.”