Porsche Penske claim first-ever FIA WEC victory at 2024 season-opener in Qatar

2 Mar. 2024 • 20:12
Porsche Penske Motorsport took the first win of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship season after leading for the majority of today’s Qatar Airways Qatar 1812km.
© Porsche Media

The No.6 Porsche Penske 963 Hypercar driven by Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre took the chequered flag 33.297s ahead of Hertz Team JOTA who claimed the runners-up spot with Callum Ilott, Norman Nato and Will Stevens sharing the wheel. Estre survived a late scare after the Frenchman’s Porsche 963 made contact with an LMGT3 car that damaged the car’s side panel forcing the team to make repairs with just 15 minutes of the race remaining.


Completing the podium was the second factory Porsche belonging to the No. 5 crew of Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki – the crew fighting back from a car vibration issues. Porsche’s podium lockout in Qatar marks the first for a manufacturer in the WEC since Audi at Spa in 2013.


It was heartache for Peugeot TotalEnergies, however, as Nico Muller, Jean-Eric Vergne and Mikkel Jensen were set to claim the marque's best-ever WEC result with second place after a faultless performance in the No.93 Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar. However, a late issue for Vergne saw his car stop as it entered the final lap and drop to seventh as it limped over the line.


Cadillac Racing finished the race fourth overall, the American squad with Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber and Sebastien Bourdais at the wheel making an epic comeback after an early race impact and front-left dramage to the Cadillac V-Series.R saw them down the leaderboard.


Rounding out the top five was the No.83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P making its debut with Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman and Yifei Ye putting in a strong performance.


The No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry was sixth overall – with the reigning World Champions struggling for pace with the Ferrari 499P. Eighth was the No. 50 Ferrari AF Corse, the crew fighting back from an early drive-through-penalty.


Alpine Endurance Team’s No. 35 Alpine A424 drove a steady race to finish ninth and the last crew to bag points was the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar.


Proton Competition narrowly missed out on a points finish its trio of drivers finished the race 11th overall in their Porsche.  Elsewhere, it was a difficult race for BMW M Team WRT who finished 12th and 16th in its pair of BMW M Hybrid V8 cars.


Lamborghini Iron Lynx completed its first WEC race, finishing 15th while Isotta Fraschini retired from its first race after five hours into the race with a mechanical issues.


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