06 ESTRE Kevin (fra), LOTTERER AndrŽ (ger), VANTHOOR Laurens (bel), Porsche Penske Motorsport, Porsche 963 #06, action during the Qatar Airways Qatar 1812 KM, 1st round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship, from February 29 to March 02, 2024 on the Losail International Circuit in Lusail, Qatar - Photo Marius Hecker / DPPI


#6 Porsche takes first victory in Qatar


Porsche dominated in Qatar as the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsports 963 wins, with the manufacturer taking up four out of six podium positions in the race.

As the race got going, it was surprisingly Ferrari that held the lead into turn one as Miguel Molina, in the #50 Ferrari, went around the outside of both the #5 Penske Porsche and #7 Toyota to take the lead of the race.

Meanwhile, it had been the #81 TF Sport Corvette Z06 GT3 that led the way in the GT3 standings until the #92 Manthey Pure Rxing Porsche darted to the inside of the Chevy at turn five to take the lead of the class on lap nine.

Meanwhile, Michael Christensen was getting a little bit impatient behind the #50 Ferrari of Molina, as he desperately looked to the inside into turn nine, but was pushed onto the gravel at the apex of the corner.

This lost the #5 Penske Porsche its momentum, which as a result allowed Nico Muller in the #93 Peugeot to run alongside for a few bends until Muller swept around the outside to take second position at turn 12 on lap nine.

Muller was not done yet as on lap 16 he set his sight on Molina in the #50 Ferrari and went to the outside at turn one, which gave him the inside and the lead when they made it to turn two.

It got worse for the #50 when it received a drive-through penalty for crossing the white line at pit entry, which put it out of the running for the race win.

Nico Muller held onto the lead until lap 54, when he ran deep into turn one while lapping the #95 McLaren, which let the #6 Penske Porsche of Laurens Vanthoor straight through, on the inside, to go top of the class.

Then a couple of laps latter, the #51 Ferrari decided it no longer needed the rear of the car, as it left it at the entry to turn 16, bringing out the full course yellows.

Meanwhile, the #54 the Vista AF Corse Ferrari lost the lead in LMGT3 to the #27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin as the Aston left it very late to move to the inside, which caught the Ferrari off guard.

Mick Schumacher had a bit of a moment in the night stage of the race into turn nine as, he got caught out by a GT3 Ferrari, which he made contact with, sending the #36 car off into the gravel before re-joining.

Kevin Estre while running in the lead of the race tried to pass #87 Akkodis ASP Lexus at turn 12, but instead left the move too late, sending the Lexus off of the circuit.

Calado then received Ferrari’s second drive through of the race as he was penalized for driving the  #99 Proton Porsche to the pit wall, while defending, which he served on lap 321.

#93 Peugeot of Jean-Eric Vergne was in second position as he started the second to last lap, but heart break ensued as the car ran out of fuel, dropping it out of the podium positions and the race as the car was DQ’d for not entering the pitlane after using ERS below the BoP threshold but not returning to the pitlane.

In the end the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 came home with the victory, in the hands of Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, and Laurens Vanthoor, followed #12 Hertz Team Jota 963 of Callum Illiot, Norman Nato, and Will Stevens.

Then Rounding off the podium was the #5 Penske Porsche of Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, and Frederic Makowieki.

In LMGT3 the win went to Manthey Pure Racing in their Porsche 911 Gt3 with Drivers Klaus Bachler, Joel Sturm, and Aliaksandr Malykhin.

Then rounding off the Podium was the both the Heart of Racing #27 and #777 D’station Aston Martin’s, with drivers Ian James, Daniel Mancinelli, and Alex Riberas for Heart of Racing and Clement Mateu, Erwan Bastard, and Marco Sorensen  for D’station


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