Amongst the palm trees and fountains, the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing of Sebastian Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima took the chequered flag in yesterday’s BAPCO 6 Hours of Bahrain and the WEC’s season finale.
The #8 won by a clear lap taking the teams fifth win of the year. The sister car of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez suffered contact with the #92 Porsche GT which took them out of contention for the victory and they managed a fourth place finish.
World Champions Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley brought home the #2 46 seconds ahead of it’s sister car of Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy to end the German marques LMP1 programme and the last outings for the 919 Hybrids. In an emotional garage, Team Principal Andreas Seidl had this to say: “Over the past four seasons, Toyota has been an incredible competitor, and I congratulate them on today's victory. Thanks to the whole team here and in Weissach, to our drivers and partners for four sensational years. This definitely was the last race for the 919 Hybrid. We are very proud of the success we were able to achieve with this technology driven car.”
In the LMP2 the #31 Vaillante Rebellion took the top spot on the podium, therefore becoming FIA Endurance Trophy Team Champions and crowning Bruno Senna and Julien Canal Driver Champions. The Rebellion finished just over 10 seconds ahead of the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca of Tung, Jarvis and Laurent, with the sister Rebellion taking third.
Davide Rigon and Sam Bird in the #71 and James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 gave AF Corse a 1-2 finish respectively in the LMGTE Pro, with Calado and Pier Guidi being crowned Drivers Champions. The #67 Ford GT of British pairing Any Priaulx and Harry Tincknell finished the race in third and second in the teams standings.
The closely fought LMGTE Am battle finally went the way of the #98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathis Lauda who secured both FIA Endurance Teams and Drivers Championships. Clearwater Racing of Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin took the second step on the podium, and thus securing second place in their debut season for the Singaporean team, and the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Flohr, Castelacci and Molina rounded out the podium places for the last race of the season.
The FIA World Endurance Championship resumes in 2018 for it’s Super Season:
6 & 7 April: The Prologue, Circuit Paul Ricard (FRA)
5 May: WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
16 & 17 June: 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA)
19 August: 6 Hours of Silverstone (GBR)
21 October: 6 Hours of Fuji (JPN)
18 November: 6 Hours of Shanghai (CHN)
16 & 17 March: 12 Hours of Sebring (USA)
4 May: WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
15 &16 June: 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA)