Wednesday 13 September 2017

FIA WEC 2017: Looking back to the 6 Hours of Mexico

Right before the FIA WEC action starts again at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas tomorrow, let's briefly look back at the 6 Hours of Mexico 2 weeks ago, courtesy of our friends at 

© FIA WEC/Adrenal Media

Hopefully we have not seen the last of the Circuit Hermano Rodriguez, its layout appears to lend itself to great category racing and plenty of inter-category congestion it all made for an exciting race on what was a difficult weekend for the World Endurance Championship. The race exemplified exactly why we enjoy this form of racing, while Porsches domination continues, the categories delivered some spectacular clashes.

© FIA WEC/Adrenal Media

In LMP1 the gulf in performance between the Porsche 919 Hybrid and Toyota TS050 Hybrid was very evident with Porsche locking out the front row and quite simply driving away from their competitors. Porsche have made no secret of their application of team orders and whilst at times the #1 car put up a fight, it was left for the #2 to take the overall and LMP1 win. Brendon Hartley showed uncharacteristic decent after being called in for the first pit-stop, and bumble-bee chewing Nick Tandy (seemingly not happy with the tattered season) in the #1 and pushing so hard he incurred a pitlane speed penalty for team-mate Andre Lotterer to serve.

© FIA WEC/Adrenal Media

The LMP2 contest was hard fought, and turbulent in equal measure. Rebellion #31 came full of vigour, and were fighting the ever-mighty DC Racing Jota Sport run #38 through the initial phase, the Oliver Jarvis pedalled (#38) Oreca appearing to get the advantage until a clutch issue led to its fall down the running order. The #31 in the hands of Bruno Senna was running well, but challenges came through from both the Signatech-Alpine #36 and the resurgent Manor Racing #24. Indeed the clashes between Nico Lapierre and Ben Hanley respectively in the closing stages led to some of the best race action of the weekend. Senna in the #31 Valiante-Rebellion came out on top which is great news that another team, refugees from LMP1-L has found pace and success in the LMP2 category.

In GTE-Pro the pendulum swung as the altitude impacted on performance. During the initial phases the #95 Aston Martin performed well but seemed to drop away a little, Porsche RSRs and Ford GTs took up the challenge, however a wayward backmarker in the #61 Clearwater Ferrari 488 hit the #92 Porsche RSR whilst being lapped and sent Christensen in to a spin, which effectively put him out of the lead pack. 

Further clashes between the #51 Ferrari 488 of James Calado and Olivier Pla in the #66 Ford GT led to both of those cars suffering delay, leaving the #71 Ferrari to seemingly win the race. Yet a 10-second penalty was added on to that car’s time, which resulted in much joy back at the Aston Martin Racing #95 Nicki Thiim bringing the car home on the top step. The Porsche RSR #91 of Leitz and Makowiecki ran reliably and picked up a third behind the penalised #71 Ferrari.

© FIA WEC/Adrenal Media

GTE-Am was a race long flip-flop of positions between the #77 Proton Racing Porsche RSR, the ever present #98 Aston Martin Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana and crew, with a bit part for the #86 Gulf Racing Porsche. Clearly the Porsche contenders where keen to show pace having both signed deals for 2018 private mid-engined RSRs (as per GTE-Pro 2017). Unfortunately the #98 Aston Martin ventured wide of the track once too many times, and a penalty resulted in the #77 Proton Racing car of Cairoli and Reid to taking a deserved win.

Watch the race highlights below:

This story original was published by Nick Holland (@nh247) on