Bahrain WEC: Toyota #7 wins race to claim title

Gary Watkins
·6-min read

The #8 Toyota was never in the hunt with the 0.54s performance penalty it was carrying under the LMP1 system of success handicaps. The gap between the two TS050 Hybrids would have been more than a lap but for a safety car period just after the halfway mark.

The neutralisation of the race all but wiped out a lead of just over a minute for the #7 Toyota.

Buemi briefly looked as though he might be able to mount a challenge after taking back the controls of the #8 early in the fifth hour, but dropped away from Conway during the second stint on a set of new Michelins.

Kobayashi and Nakajima took over their respective mounts for the run to the flag in the final race for the TS050 at the end of the LMP1 era, the margin between them standing at 1m04s when the chequered flag fell. 

Conway said: "I feel good. It's been a long season with all that's going on in the world. To clinch this title is a huge credit to my teammates – they made me look good. It was a tough race, but we did what we had to do."

LMP2: JOTA claims one-two finish United dramas

The JOTA Sport squad finished one-two in LMP2, the Oreca 07 entered under the Jackie Chan DC Racing banner coming out on top in a thrilling battle with the sister car run under the team's own flag.

Gabriel Aubry barged past Antonio Felix da Costa with 10 minutes of the race to run to seal victory, together with Will Stevens and Ho-Pin Tung, on what looks certain to be the Jackie Chan-branded entry's final WEC race.

Da Costa, who shared the JOTA entry with Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez, had sneaked ahead of the sister car at the final round of pits but couldn't pull away from Aubry. When the reigning Formula E champion was baulked by a GTE Am Ferrari, Aubry made his bold move at Turn 10 and then sealed the position into Turn 11.

The Racing Team Nederland Oreca shared by Nyck de Vries, Giedo van der Garde and Frits van Eerd took third place. United Autosports, which wrapped up the P2 title with Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson at the Le Mans 24 Hours in September, ended up nearly half a minute behind in fourth after being in hunt for the first five hours.

An undisclosed fuel glitch, which meant Paul di Resta was slow into the pits at the same stop that he took a five-second penalty garnered by Albuquerque for causing a collision, dropped them out of contention.

GTE: Porsche wins, Aston earns title

Porsche finished one-two in GTE Pro as Aston Martin duo Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen claimed the drivers' title to go with the manufacturers' crown that the British manufacturer sealed at Le Mans.

Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen took victory in the factory Porsche 911 RSR by 2.8s from the sister car of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz after leading for much of the duration. A distant third place went to the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of David Rigon and Miguel Molina, who ended up more than a minute behind the Porsches.

Thiim and Sorensen were in the hunt at the beginning of the race until losing time in a full-course yellow virtual safety car and then dropped out of contention with a brake issue that afflicted all four Vantage GTEs in the race. They eventually ended up two laps in arrears in fifth place, which was more than enough to give them the crown ahead of Maxime Martin, who finished fourth in the sister Aston with Richard Westbrook.

James Calado lost an outside chance of the title when his teammate in their AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, Daniel Serra, tagged a GTE Am and suffered a broken wheel.

The GTE Am title went to Emmanuel Collard, Nicklas Nielsen and Francois Perrodo, who overhauled an eight-point deficit to the drivers of the TF Sport Aston Martin. Second place behind the Project 1 Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister, Larry ten Voorde and Egidio Perfetti allowed them to leapfrog Jonny Adam, Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc in the final points.

The Aston drivers finished down in eighth after losing time to a change of front brakes at the start of the final hour.

Race results:

1

7

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Mike Conway
Kamui Kobayashi
Jose Maria Lopez

Japan
Japan
Argentina
Argentina

Toyota TS050 Hybrid

LMP1

263

2

8

Switzerland
Switzerland

Sébastien Buemi
Kazuki Nakajima
Brendon Hartley

Japan
Japan
New Zealand
New Zealand

Toyota TS050 Hybrid

LMP1

263

3

37

China
China

Ho-Pin Tung
Gabriel Aubry
Will Stevens

France
France
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Oreca 07

LMP2

247

16 Laps

4

38

Mexico
Mexico

Roberto Gonzalez
Antonio Felix da Costa
Anthony Davidson

Portugal
Portugal
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Oreca 07

LMP2

247

16 Laps

5

29

Netherlands
Netherlands

Frits van Eerd
Giedo van der Garde
Nyck de Vries

Netherlands
Netherlands
Netherlands
Netherlands

Oreca 07

LMP2

247

16 Laps

6

22

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Philip Hanson
Filipe Albuquerque
Paul di Resta

Portugal
Portugal
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Oreca 07

LMP2

247

16 Laps

7

36

France
France

Thomas Laurent
Andre Negrao
Pierre Ragues

Brazil
Brazil
France
France

Alpine A470

LMP2

246

17 Laps

8

92

Denmark
Denmark

Michael Christensen
Kevin Estre

France
France

Porsche 911 RSR - 19

LMGTE PRO

235

28 Laps

9

91

Italy
Italy

Gianmaria Bruni
Richard Lietz

Austria
Austria

Porsche 911 RSR - 19

LMGTE PRO

235

28 Laps

10

71

Italy
Italy

Davide Rigon
Miguel Molina

Spain
Spain

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE PRO

235

28 Laps

11

97

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Richard Westbrook
Maxime Martin

Belgium
Belgium

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE PRO

234

29 Laps

12

95

Denmark
Denmark

Marco Sorensen
Nicki Thiim

Denmark
Denmark

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE PRO

233

30 Laps

13

56

Norway
Norway

Egidio Perfetti
Larry ten Voorde
Jörg Bergmeister

Netherlands
Netherlands
Germany
Germany

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

232

31 Laps

14

83

France
France

François Perrodo
Emmanuel Collard
Nicklas Nielsen

France
France
Denmark
Denmark

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE AM

232

31 Laps

15

88

United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates

Khaled Al Qubaisi
Jaxon Evans
Marco Holzer

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

232

31 Laps

16

54

Switzerland
Switzerland

Thomas Flohr
Francesco Castellacci
Giancarlo Fisichella

Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE AM

232

31 Laps

17

86

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Michael Wainwright
Alessio Picariello
Benjamin Barker

Belgium
Belgium
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

232

31 Laps

18

57

United States
United States

Ben Keating
Dylan Pereira
Jeroen Bleekemolen

Netherlands
Netherlands

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

231

32 Laps

19

51

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

James Calado
Daniel Serra

Brazil
Brazil

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE PRO

231

32 Laps

20

77

Germany
Germany

Christian Ried
Riccardo Pera
Dennis Olsen

Italy
Italy
Norway
Norway

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

231

32 Laps

21

90

Turkey
Turkey

Salih Yoluc
Charles Eastwood
Jonathan Adam

Ireland
Ireland
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE AM

231

32 Laps

22

98

Canada
Canada

Paul Dalla Lana
Pedro Lamy
Ross Gunn

Portugal
Portugal
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE AM

231

32 Laps

23

62

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Bonamy Grimes
Kei Cozzolino
Colin Noble Jr.

Japan
Japan
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE AM

231

32 Laps

24

47

Italy
Italy

Roberto Lacorte
Andrea Belicchi
Giorgio Sernagiotto

Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy

Dallara P217

LMP2

231

32 Laps

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