Audi capped off their unbelievably successful endurance racing career with a brilliant 1-2 finish under the lights in Bahrain.
The pole-sitting number 8 R18 of Lucas di Grassi/Oliver Jarvis/Loic Duval led from the start while the number 7 car of Andre Lotterer/Benoit Treluyer/Marcel Fassler quickly worked its way through to second place from fourth on the grid.
With the two cars running different strategies the lead changed hands a few times between them, but ultimately it was Lucas di Grassi in the number 8 Audi who took the chequered flag ahead of Marcel Fassler in the number 7 car in an unbelievably emotional finish. As the Audi team walked down to the podium after the race the entire pit lane came out to applaud them in scenes not unlike we saw with Felipe Massa in Brazil a week ago.
It’s been a tough year for Audi on the track as their super-radical car struggled for reliability at times, though with six poles from nine races it clearly had the speed. And it still looks the most awesome.
It was an emotional end all around as Mark Webber crossed the line to finish in third place in the number 1 Porsche 919, ending his professional motor racing career with a podium. The Toyotas finished fourth and fifth, while the number 2 Porsche of Marc Lieb/Romain Dumas/Neel Jani came home in sixth place after an early puncture dropped them out of the main running, but it was still enough for them to be crowned FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champions.
Finishing 1-2 in their last ever race is an incredibly appropriate end to Audi’s endurance racing programme – they’ve come a long way since they finished 3rd and 5th in their first race back at the 1999 Sebring 12 Hours.
— Audi Sport (@audisport) November 19, 2016
The 2017 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Silverstone on the 16th of April. We’re already counting down the days but without the famous four rings on the grid, it won’t quite be the same.