After around 10,850 kilometers and with two more races and 52 points to go in the 2015 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), only one point is separating drivers from Porsche and Audi.
This means that heading to the seventh race in Shanghai, China on November 1, 2015, the competition will be as tight as ever between those vying to capture the 2015 FIA World Endurance Driver’s Championship.
On top are drivers for the number “17” Porsche 919 Hybrid of Porsche Team – Timo, Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brandon Hartley – with 129 points. Just one point behind are drivers for the number “7” Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Audi Sport Team Joest -- Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer – who incidentally were winners in the 2012 edition of FIA WEC.
At third are drivers from the number “18” Porsche (95.5 points) -- Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb. Drivers of Audi’s number “8” -- Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis – are currently fourth with 79 points. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport, remarked that the battle for the World Championship title has never been as intense.
He praised the “7” Audi drivers for delivering consistent performances throughout the FIA WEC season. This trio is considered to be the most successful WEC drivers of all time with 10 victories at hand. These race drivers have been jointly competing for Audi for the sixth year now.
For this season, Fässler, Lotterer and Tréluyer are the only drivers to have reached the podium at each of the sixth rounds and were the leaders for five races. As for the “8” Audi drivers, di Grassi, Duval and Jarvis are teamed up for the first time this year, with increasing levels of performance.
They finished the podium for the first time in Austin, Texas, in the fifth event of the season. Moreover, the trio recorded the fastest race lap in the sixth event in Fuji, Japan. Thanks to a new aerodynamics package, the performance of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro was enhanced at Fuji.
Also contributing to the team’s performance in Japan is Audi Sport Team Joest’s race strategy -- shorter pit stops for refueling and fast tire changes. Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport, said that they managed to move a step forward in what is considered as the crucial stage of the driver’s title race. He added that they would remain as fierce competitors in the upcoming race in Shanghai to maintain their chances for the championship.
Audi considers China as its second home, with two production sites in Changchun and Foshan. Furthermore, China is Audi’s largest single market, delivering 578,900 vehicles in the country in 2013 for a growth of 17.7 percent.
On the other hand, the Audi R8 LMS Cup is also holding its race finale at Shanghai. The current leaders Congfu Cheng (China) and Alex Yoong (Malaysia) are in a tie.