Webber to sign off in style after leading Porsche to WEC title

Webber and his team-mates
Webber and his team-mates

Mark Webber ensured he will sign off his illustrious racing career with another title after driving to victory alongside Porsche team-mates Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard in Sunday’s penultimate round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

The victory was the trio’s fourth of the season, and the points scored in the race at the Shanghai International Circuit were enough to seal a second Manufacturer title for the Porsche marque.

With 55,000 spectators watching at trackside, Porsche again dominated proceedings, with victory for Webber’s car never really looking in doubt throughout proceedings.

The margin of victory at the fall of the chequered flag was just under one minute.

Aston Clinton-based Webber said afterwards: “This was great! We had really good pace all weekend with the number 1 car and our victory made sure that we scored enough points for the team to secure the Manufacturer title.

“This is really important for Porsche and it is a great feeling to win the prize for a second season.

“The car performed really well. Our only problem was when the front bodywork was damaged a little and it had to be replaced. Apart from that we could just drive from the start to the chequered flag.

“It was an amazing day for Porsche and we are really happy to have contributed to it.”

The race for the drivers’ crown is wide open, although Webber admits the chances of retaining his title are slim.

“We are in fourth position at the moment,” he said. “Our poor race at Le Mans and early season events have counted against us a little, but we are still in with a chance and I am sure we will be pushing when we get to Bahrain for the final race of the season.”

The crew of the number 2 Porsche 919-Hybrid, Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and Romain Dumas currently lead, and the 2016 Le Mans 24-Hour Race winners will arrive in Bahrain as title favourites.

The final round of the season, Webber’s last race of his career, will take place on November 19 at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Webber said:, “Racing prototype cars under the lights appears very gladiatorial, and adds another exciting dimension to the sport of endurance racing. At Le Mans we drive into the darkness, in Bahrain they turn on the floodlights. I am looking forward to the race but I am sure it will be pretty emotional at the end.”