FIA WEC – Porsche Penske Motorsport's #6 Porsche 963 wins Qatar 1812 km

FIA WEC – Porsche Penske Motorsport's #6 Porsche 963 wins Qatar 1812 km

Porsche Penske Motorsport's #6 Porsche 963 shared by Kévin Estre/André Lotterer/Laurens Vanthoor claimed the top step on the podium for the first time in the FIA World Endurance Championship at the Qatar 1812 km, 10-hour opening round of the 2024 season.

Porsche Penske Motorsport's #6 Porsche 963 won the Qatar 1812 km, first race of the 2024 FIA WEC season, today. It was the German team's first victory in the championship after winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier in the year. Porsche even pulled off a hat trick with Hertz Team JOTA's #12 and the #5 finishing second and third overall.

Cadillac Racing's #2 Cadillac V-Series.R ended the race in fourth place, trailing the winners by one lap. AF Corse's #83 Ferrari 499P rounded out the the top 5.

As the #93 Peugeot 9X8 seemed on its way to a second place finish, the car fell victim to mechanical troubles in the final lap. The French Hypercar passed under the chequered flag in the seventh spot for its last race before a modified version sans spoiler will be introduced for the next round, the 6 Hours of Imola. Finally the team were later disqualified due to a technical regulation breach.

Final Hypercar top 5

1. #6 Porsche 963 – Porsche Penske Motorsport – 335 laps
2. #12 Porsche 963 – Hertz Team JOTA +33.297s
3. #5 Porsche 963 – Porsche Penske Motorsport +34.396s
4. #2 Cadillac V-Series.R – Cadillac Racing – 334 laps
5. #83 Ferrari 499P – AF Corse +14.889s

Porsche is now leading the FIA Endurance Hypercar Manufacturers Championship with 39 points followed by Cadillac (23 points), Toyota (18 points), Ferrari (15 points), Alpine (12 points) and BMW (6 points).

Porsche thoroughly dominated the Qatar 1812 km with Manthey PureRxcing's #92 911 GT3 R driven by Aliaksandr Malykhin/Joel Sturm/Klaus Bachler reaching the top step on the podium in the LMGT3 category. The two Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3s, Heart of Racing's #27 and D'Station Racing's #777 competed the top 5.

Nine-time Moto Grand Prix world champion Valentino Rossi took the start in his first FIA WEC race at the wheel of Team WRT's #46 BMW M4 LMGT3, finishing fourth along with teammates Ahmad Al Harthy and Maxime Martin.

Final LMGT3 top 5

1. #92 Porsche 911 GT3.R – Manthey PureRxcing – 299 laps
2. #27 Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3 – Heart of Racing +4.866s
3. #777 Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3 – D’Station Racing – 298 laps
4. #46 BMW M4 LMGT3 – Team WRT +12.647s
5. #54 Ferrari 296 LMGT3 – Vista AF Corse – 297 laps

Three cars were forced to retire with mechanical problems: the #11 Isotta Fraschini Tipo6-C, TF Sport's #81 Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R and Akkodis ASP Team's #78 Lexus RC F LMGT3. Hertz Team JOTA's #38 Porsche 963 (driven by 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button) failed to make it into the classification. 

The next race on the 2024 FIA WEC calendar is the 6 Hours of Imola on Sunday 21 April.

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