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Latest Posts

WEC: 6 Hours of Bahrain – Audi 1-2 in swansong

The 6 Hours of Bahrain marked not just the end of the 2016 season but the end of Audi Sport Team Joest’s participation in the championship, Audi choosing to focus on Formula E competition instead after 18 years of endurance competition. It was also the final race of Mark Webber’s career, the Aussie retiring from the cockpit after storied runs in both Formula 1 and the highest rung of sports car racing, the latter of which included being crowned 2015 champion in the #1 Porsche and winning just 2 weeks ago in Shanghai.

The 2016 LMP1 standings coming into Bahrain had the #2 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid (Marc Lieb, Neel Jani, Romain Dumas) in first with 152.0 points, the #5 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid (Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway, Stephane Sarrazin) in second with 135.0, and the #8 Audi R18 (Loic Duval, Lucas Di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis) in third with 121.5. A race win in FIA WEC competition earns 25 points, with 18 points for second, 15 for third, etc.

The LMP2 title was decided in China, the #36 Signatech Alpine-Nissan (Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes, Stephane Richelmi) taking top honors.

In GTE Pro, the #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage (Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim) held a 12 point lead of the #71 Scuderia Corse Ferrari 488 (Davide Rigon, Sam Bird), with the #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT (Olivier Pla, Stefan Mucke) and the #51 Ferrari tied for third another 9 points back.

The #83 Ferrari (Emmanuel Collard, Rui Aguas, Francois Perrodo) carried a 25-point lead in GTE Am, leaving the smallest of opportunities for #98 Aston Martin (Matthias Lauda, Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy) in second.

The #8 Audi led in the first lap followed by Porsches #2 and #1 (Timo Bernhard). The #51 Ferrari (Gianmaria Bruni) led the #95 and #97 (Darren Turner) Aston Martins in GTE Pro. Fifteen minutes into competition the #50 Larbre Corvette (Ricky Taylor) led GTE Am ahead of the #98 Aston and the #XX Gulf Racing Porsche 911 (XX Barker). The #36 led LMP2.

Barker took second in GTE Am a few moments later. Marcel Fassler (#7 Audi) was pressing Bernard for P3 at the 5:40 mark. Duval led Jani by 6 sec. Fassler made the pass stick at 5:32 as the sun was setting and took second from the #2 Porsche moments later.

The #7 Audi pitted with 5  hr 12 min remaining, the #8 following one lap later. The #2 Porsche stopped at the same time as the #8. The #2 Porsche suffered a puncture after contact with a GT car on its out lap, losing the left rear tire altogether before making it back to the pits. The #5 Toyota assumed third.

With 3:02 left the #36 was still leading LMP2.

Calamity struck Aston Martin Racing as the halfway point was reached, the #98 slowing dramatically because of engine problems and the #97 (Jonny Adam) losing its right front tire after pitting. A full-course yellow was called. The #98 retired clinching the GTE Am championship for the #83 Ferrari.

The #7 Audi led the #8 by 50 sec and the #1 Porsche by 1 lap.

Green flag racing resumed at 2:51. The #95 Aston Martin led GTE Pro by 11.4 sec over the #51 Ferrari (James Calado) and 48 sec over the #67 Ford GT (Andy Priaulx).

The #30 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2-Nissan (Pipo Dirani) passed the #36 for the LMP2 lead. By the 2:30 mark Dirani had extended his lead to 7.6 sec.

The #7 Audi pitted at 2:28. The #71 Ferrari passed the #67 Ford for third in GTE Pro. The #5 Toyota pitted from P3 with 2:19 remaining. The #8 Audi led by 1 lap on the #7 (the two having split pit strategies during the full-course caution) and 2 laps on the #1 Porsche.

Audi closed its endurance racing history with a 1-2 finish, the #8 topping the #7. The #2 Porsche’s sixth-place finish was enough clinch the championship for Dumas, Lieb, and Jani. Webber closed his career with a podium finish, the #1 Porsche placing third.

The #26 G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan (Rene Rast) took the lead from the #43 RGR Sport by Morand Ligier-Nissan (Filipe Albuquerque) two laps before the end to win the race. The #36 Signatech finished third.

Sorensen and Thiim took the GTE Pro victory to win the championship, the #51 Ferrari finishing second. The #71 Ferrari finished third, clinching the GT manufacturers’ title for the make.

The #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 (Khaled al-Qubasi, Patrick Long, David Heinemeier-Hansson) won GTE Am, its second victory of the season. The new champions in the #83 Ferrari finished third, with the #78 KCMG Porsche (Christian Ried, Wolf Henzler, Joel Camathias) on the second step of the podium.

 

For all times from the race CLICK HERE

For final championship classifications CLICK HERE

 

Posted in: Sports