Toyota Gazoo Racing took a second consecutive 1-2 finish at today’s 6 Hours of Shanghai after a challenging race held in wet conditions.
Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose-Maria Lopez took the chequered flag in the No.7 Toyota TS 050 Hybrid to register back-to-back victories after their Fuji success last month.
They beat the No.8 Toyota driven by Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi by just 1.14s to close to within five points of their stablemates in the title chase.
The No.8 Toyota TS 050 Hybrid claimed second after losing time midway through the race during one of the five Safety Car periods.
This cost Fernando Alonso approximately 25-seconds and allowed Kobayashi to build what turned out to be a race defining lead.
Completing the podium and registering the first overall visit to the podium for a Russian entered team was SMP Racing.
The No.11 crew of Jenson Button, Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin fought off the No.1 Rebellion Racing crew of Andre Lotterer, Neel Jani and Bruno Senna during a race long battle.
Button celebrated his first ever WEC podium to make it two celebrations in as many weeks after he took the Super GT title in Japan last weekend.
The LMP1 privateers had their most competitive weekend of the Super Season so far after EoT modifications were completed ahead of the Shanghai event.
45,000 race fans enjoyed the Shanghai action over the weekend despite the difficult conditions ensuring that they witnessed another epic WEC encounter.
LMP2 saw a hard-fought and popular home victory for the No.38 Jackie Chan DC Racing crew of Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stephane Richelmi.
Claiming their second victory of the season, the trio survived several technical and on-track scares to take the maximum points and displace the Signatech Alpine Matmut crew at the top of the points table.
Contending with a gear issue and also an off-track excursion for Aubry in the final hour of the race, all three headed off the opposition to send their local fans home ecstatic at an accomplished performance.
Taking their best result of the Super Season so far, Pastor Maldonado, Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez took second position after leading in the initial green flag running early in the race.
Rounding out the podium was Signatech Alpine Matmut’s Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Pierre Thiriet. Lapierre capitalised on a late incident involving TDS Racing and a GT car to snatch third position.