6 Hours Of Shanghai

Today saw the first sports car endurance race at Shanghai International Circuit come to a close after a successful day of challenging racing. Conditions were ideal, with temperatures in the mid-twenties and sun cutting through the early morning fog for the start of the race at 11:00 local time. As the 8th and final round in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Shanghai marked the end of a season and saw the attribution of race and World Champion titles in all categories.

Among the honours bestowed today in Shanghai was the 2012 sports car Driver’s World Championship, going to Marcel Fässler (CHE), Benoit Tréluyer (FRA) and André Lotterer (DEU), LM P1 drivers of the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro. “We had a good season all the way through, so we came here with some extra points,” explained Lotterer. “Of course we wanted to go for the victory and try to beat Toyota in the race, but that was not an option today so I was just careful to drive the car home. We have a good partnership and it is fantastic to have this as a reward for the first world championship.”

Today’s 6 Hours of Shanghai race winner was the #7 Toyota hybrid driven by Alexander Wurz (AUT) and Nicolas Lapierre (FRA). Although not eligible for the overall championship, as Toyota launched its endurance campaign almost halfway through the WEC season, the manufacturer performed remarkably well, having won three out of six races over the season. “There is no such thing as an easy race but I have to say that we had a very good weekend,” said Lapierre. “We have been very fast and the car was great on this track.”

“Of course we want to win the world championship and we want to win Les 24 Heures du Mans,” added Wurz, “just like the Audi guys do, so I am sure the manufacturers will build up a war over the winter and I am looking forward to that. We have shown that we are on it and that we can give it our all- it was the perfect race.”


Driver Award: Marcel Fässler (CHE), Benoit Tréluyer (FRA) and André Lotterer (DEU)
LM P1 Manufacturer Award: Audi (DEU)
LM GTE Manufacturer Award: Ferrari (ITA)
Private LM P1 Team Award: Rebellion Racing (CHE)
LM P2 Team Award: Starworks Motorsports (USA)
LM GTE Pro Team Award: AF Corse (ITA)
LM GTE Am Team Award: Larbre Competition (FRA)


LM P1 Race Winner:
7; TOYOTA RACING; JPN; Toyota TS030 Hybrid; Alexander Wurz (AUT) - Nicolas Lapierre (FRA)
LM P2 Race Winner:
25; ADR-DELTA; FRA; Oreca 03 - Nissan; John Martin (AUS) - Tor Graves (GBR) - Mathias Beche (FRA)
LM GTE Pro Winner:
97; ASTON MARTIN RACING; GBR; Aston Martin Vantage V8; Stefan Mücke (DEU) - Darren Turner (GBR)
LM GTE Am Winner:
50: LARBRE COMPETITION; FRA; Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1: Patrick Bomhauser (FRA) - Julien Canal (FRA) - Pedro Lamy (PRT)
The 6 Hours of Shanghai is the grand finale in the newly established FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), an international series launched in 2012 that comprises eight races run on three continents. Inspired by its cornerstone race, Les 24 Heures du Mans, this series represents the highest global level of modern endurance racing. Rolex is proud to support this groundbreaking international trial of team precision, passion and stamina.


A provisional calendar for the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) has been announced with the intent of bringing Le Mans-type racing and endurance values to audiences and participants around the globe.

Gerard Neveu, CEO of the FIA WEC, stated that the current economic situation put extra emphasis on attempting to curb costs, particularly when it came to transporting the participating cars around the globe. “This calendar allows us to send the cars by sea freight rather than by air as many times as possible,” said Neveu, “which will help drive down the costs for everyone involved in the FIA WEC.  This is very important for the long term future of the championship and I’m confident that this calendar will allows us to attract more teams and more drivers to the World Endurance Championship next season.”

The 2013 championship is slated to include eight races in eight different countries, with the full season set to run from April - November 2013. The series, which will travel over three continents and which is centred around Les 24 Heures du Mans, will return to the same countries scheduled in the 2012 season. The only change of venue is a move from Sebring to Austin, Texas, which will host a super endurance race weekend with a race for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) on Saturday and a WEC race on Sunday. “We are pleased to announce the 2013 FIA WEC calendar which will allow us to build on the strong foundation we have laid this season,” said Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO. “Les 24 Heures du Mans will of course remain the cornerstone of the 2013 calendar, while Austin will represent new venues.”  


14 April: 6 Hours of Silverstone (GBR) Round 1
04 May: 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) Round 2
22-23 June: 24 Heures du Mans (FRA) Round 3
24 August: 6 Hours of Sao Paulo (BRA) Round 4
22 September: 6 Hours of Austin (USA)* Round 5
20 October: 6 Hours of Fuji (JPN) Round 6
10 November: 6 Hours of Shanghai (CHN)* Round 7
30 November: 6 Hours of Bahrain (BAH) Round 8
*To be confirmed


Having clocked up eight victories at Les 24 Heures du Mans between 1997 and 2008 – including six consecutive wins from 2000 to 2005 – Danish driver Tom Kristensen holds a record number of successes in the oldest and one of the most prestigious automobile endurance races in the world. An emblematic figure in the sport, he has also triumphed six times at the 12 Hours of Sebring, becoming the record-holder for victories in this race held each year in Florida. He became a Rolex Testimonee in 2010.

“When the calendar first came out we gave each other a look thinking that we’d better bring good rain tires to the opening round in Silverstone, and we may want to wear double driving suits to keep warm in the car,” said Kristensen smiling.
“I was also a bit surprised to see that 12 Hours of Sebring was no longer part of the WEC, because that’s a race that we all love- it’s a great challenge and a great way to start the season,” Kristensen continued. “But of course, one has to admit that this decision makes sense. This year it was one of the hardest races of the season because there were more than 60 cars on the track: there’s simply no space. That said, this race will always live on and will always be so special and tough, even though it will no longer be part of the WEC.”

Kristensen mentioned looking forward to the race in Texas and liked the fact that the Bahrain round is scheduled later in the calendar. But things always come back to Les 24 Heures du Mans, said Kristensen. “The thing about double points at Le Mans is that it’s the biggest race of the season and that’s fair. 2013 will be the last edition under the current regulations before going into the biggest rule change we’ve ever seen. The cars we have now are on such a high level in regards to performance that it will be tough to say goodbye. But we all know that the new regulations will be very motivating in terms of development so that is going to be interesting. Les 24 Heures du Mans, as always, is going to be an enormous challenge.”