A high stakes finale at Bahrain
The last WEC round of the season, the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain, will be held at Bahrain International Circuit on November 18th and will be crucial for competitors still looking to claim 2017 world championship titles. In LMP1, FIA World Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles (Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber) have already been claimed by Porsche, while Ferrari has clinched the GT Manufacturers’ championship.
In LMGTE Pro there are eight drivers who can still claim the GT FIA World Endurance Drivers Championship crown, four pairings from AF Corse, Porsche GT Team and Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK who will fight to capture the title.
The spotlights are now equally pointed towards the LMP2 category in which there is still everything left to play for. The titles will be captured by one of these three teams : Vaillante Rebellion (#31), Jackie Chan DC Racing (#38) and Signatech Alpine Matmut (#36). The first two squads are only separated by four points and 26 points are available during this finale !
The #98 Aston Martin Vantage, driven by Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy, won the Shanghai round (China), taking the lead in both LMGTE Am championships (Drivers and Teams), but Dempsey Proton Racing’s (Ried/Dienst/Cairoli) and Clearwater Racing’s men (Sawa/Griffin/Mok) will not be pushed aside easily.
The Bahrain track as described by Neel Jani
Bahrain International Circuit, 5,411 kilometres long, is situated in the middle of the desert which is an important fact as Neel Jani, driver of the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid and 2016 WEC Champion, confirms : « It is always special with the sand on the track. It sticks to the tyres, especially with the heat at the beginning of the race. Then, as we enter the night, it will be far easier. A good strategy is needed at the beginning of the race. On this track, tyres suffer a lot; it is very hard to double stint with the same tyres because of the sand but also the long straights. We cannot load the car too much in terms of aerodynamics; a good balance has to be found. I also like this track because we have a barbecue in the paddock on Wednesday evening for everyone in the paddock. It is an enjoyable track which has suited the Porsche well for three years. »