Twitter Facebook Youtube

Extra curricular: Prost takes maiden WEC victory in Mexico

With the 2016/17 Formula E season done, dusted and in the record books, drivers have been participating in other categories to fulfil their need for speed and aim for glory across a range of series’.

A number of current, former and future Formula E drivers also contest the World Endurance Championship, while Maro Engel and Loic Duval headed to Germany for the latest round of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters.

The drivers found varying levels of success, with Renault e.dams driver Nico Prost emerging victorious in LMP2, his first triumph in WEC, while Engel continued his strong form in DTM to register another points finish.

World Endurance Championship: 6 Hours of Mexico

The WEC field headed to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for the fifth round of the season, with Porsche looking to continue their dominance of LMP1 by scoring its third win in a row.

The #2 did just that, with Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and recent Formula E tester Brendon Hartley taking a third consecutive victory and consolidating their lead in the championship. New Dragon Racing signing Neel Jani brought the #1 home in second place, securing a Porsche 1-2 in Mexico.

Outgoing Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi, along with Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, piloted the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing to the final step of the podium and held on to second place in the championship.

LMP2 saw Prost and former Formula E driver Bruno Senna take their first victory of the season, with the latter putting in an immense opening stint to move from third on the grid to a 30 second lead.

Prost and then Julien Canal continued to keep the #31 Vaillante Rebellion in the lead of LMP2, until the #24 CEFC Manor TRS Racing of Ben Hanley, shared with Jean-Eric Vergne, moved into the lead as Canal handed the car back to Senna in the pit stops. The Brazilian had a brief excursion while trying to catch his rival, but retook the lead following a final pit stop for the Manor and went on to give the #31 its first win of the season.

The #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing of Jaguar Racing reserve driver Ho-Pin Tung, Thomas Laurent and Oliver Jarvis endured a difficult day in Mexico. The dominant LMP2 championship leaders qualified second on the grid before a clutch issue hampered any chance of progress, with the trio eventually finishing last in the LMP2 classification.

LMGTE Pro saw a race-long battle between the #71 AF Corse of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon and the #95 Aston Martin Racing of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen, with the #71 prevailing by a narrow margin of 0.8s.

However, a ten second penalty was applied to Bird and Rigon for speeding during a full course yellow period, handing victory to the #95 Aston Martin.

Qualifying

LMP1
Neel Jani: P2
Mike Conway/Jose Maria Lopez: P3
Sebastien Buemi: P4

LMP2
Ho-Pin Tung: P2
Bruno Senna/Nico Prost: P3
Alex Lynn: P4
Nelson Piquet Jr: P6
Jean-Eric Vergne: P8

LMGTE Pro
Sam Bird: P1

Race

LMP1
Neel Jani: P2
Sebastien Buemi: P3
Mike Conway/Jose Maria Lopez: P4

LMP2
Bruno Senna/Nico Prost: P1
Jean-Eric Vergne: P3
Alex Lynn: P4
Nelson Piquet Jr: P5
Ho-Pin Tung: P9

LMGTE Pro
Sam Bird: P2

DTM

The usual DTM suspects took to the track at the Nurburgring, with Maro Engel competing for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport SILBERPFEIL Energy in the #63, Loic Duval looking to build on his maiden podium in the #77 Audi Team Rosberg, and one-time Formula E racer Rene Rast continuing his championship challenge in the #33 Audi Team Rosberg.

Race one saw a dominant display by Mercedes in a mixed-weather affair, with Lucas Auer waved past for the win by Paul di Resta to aid his championship pursuit, with Robert Wickens and Venturi Formula E driver Engel completing a 1-2-3-4 for the German marque.

Championship contender Rast completed a solid but anonymous run to fifth place, while Duval came back down to earth as he propped up the field in P18, a lap down on Auer.

Day two proved tricky for Rast, as a below-par qualifying session was hurt further as the German was handed a five place grid drop and was shifted from P13 to P18 and last.

The 30-year-old made good progress through the field but ultimately could only bring his Audi home in P12, with the fastest lap of the race proving to be the only consolidation.

Also making the most of a bad situation was Engel, who put in a stellar drive to rise from his lowly P14 grid slot to a respectable fifth place finish, adding ten points to his season tally.

There wasn’t much in the way of fun for former Dragon Racing driver Duval, who struggled in the lower reaches of the field and crossed the line in P15.

Race 1

Loic Duval: Q18, P18
Maro Engel: Q9, P4
Rene Rast: Q7, P5

Race 2

Loic Duval: Q17, P15
Maro Engel: Q14, P5
Rene Rast: Q18, P12

WEC images courtesy of Rajan Jangda
Mercedes DTM image courtesy of Daimler AG
Audi DTM image courtesy of Audi AG

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2, GP3 and Karting all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool on the side.