Webber tops the podium once again

Mark Webber (right) celebrates victory with Porsche team-mates Timo Bernhard (left) and Brendon Hartley

Mark Webber (right) celebrates victory with Porsche team-mates Timo Bernhard (left) and Brendon Hartley

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Mark Webber bagged his second straight victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) on Saturday when, alongside Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, he won the fifth round of the 2015 season at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, writes James Beckett.

Webber and his Porsche team-mates finished the 6-Hours of COTA just over a minute clear of their closest rivals, championship leaders Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler in their Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

Porsche lead the way

Porsche lead the way

Webber’s number 17 Porsche started the race from the front row, and became the lead car for the Porsche team after the number 18 919-Hybrid of Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas dropped down the order with mechanical issues.

Webber said afterwards: “This is another great result for the number 17 car and the whole team. We have a roll going at the moment, and with three rounds remaining we feel we have the momentum to keep pushing for the championship.”

Webber and his team-mates now have 103 points each and are placed just 10 behind the leading trio of Audi racers. Porsche lead the Manufacturers’ title race, 36 ahead of their German rivals, Audi.

Webber added: “The WEC received a great deal of attention in Texas. The track is pretty awesome and has some really interesting corners and elevation changes. I am pretty sure everyone who visited the race had an amazing time.”

The 2015 WEC continues in Japan with the 6-Hours of Fuji on October 11.

Meanwhile, ACO President, Pierre Fillon, announced the provisional calendar for the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship during a press gathering at the Circuit of the Americas.

The WEC will extend to nine rounds next season, with the addition of a race in Mexico.

Webber’s factory-supported Porsche team has already confirmed its participation in the entire championship, that will again see the Le Mans 24-Hour Race form its feature event.

Calendar for 2016: March 25/26 - Paul Ricard Prologue; April 17 - Silverstone; May 7 - Spa-Francorchamps; June 5 - Le Mans Test Day; June 18/19 - Le Mans 24-Hours; July 24 - Nurburgring; September 4 - Mexico City; September 17 - Circuit of the Americas; October 16 - Fuji; November 6 - Shanghai; November 19 - Bahrain.