Audi wins final WEC race, Porsche crew seals drivers' title in Bahrain

Audi bowed out of the prototype ranks with a dominant one-two victory in the Bahrain World Endurance Championship finale in which Porsche wrapped up the drivers' title

Audi wins final WEC race, Porsche crew seals drivers' title in Bahrain

Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis and Lucas di Grassi took only the second WEC victory of the season for the German manufacturer to claim runner-up position in the points behind new champions Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas, whose delayed sixth was more than enough to give them the title.

Di Grassi crossed the line just over 16 seconds ahead of the sister Audi shared by Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer at the end of a race exclusively fought out by the two R18 e-tron quattros.

Duval led from pole position until the first round of stops, before Lotterer closed down and passed Jarvis.

The #7 car remained in front until a slow third stop, when Lotterer handed over to Treluyer, reversed the positions at the front.

Audi then split its strategy during the only full-course yellow virtual safety car during the the third hour, which put the Treluyer ahead.

Duval was able catch and pass his fellow Frenchman before a double stint on the tyres in the penultimate hour sealed the win for the #8 car.

Duval said: "This is the perfect way to close the door and it means a lot to be the last guys to win a race for Audi Sport."

Di Grassi added: "It was very close with the other car as always, but I think we had the edge in the middle of the race and we called it right with the full-course yellow."

Third place went to the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid shared by Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, which was was never in the hunt and finished nearly 80s down on the winner.

Jani in the sister car was running ahead of Bernhard after the first round of pitstops when he was hit by the GTE Am KCMG Porsche 911 RSR and sustained a broken left rear wheel.

The time lost to a slow lap back to the pits and attention to the bodywork left the car three laps down at the finish in sixth place.

Toyota drivers Kamui Kobayashi, Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway, who retained an outside chance of winning the title coming into the Bahrain race, were never in contention for the win or second place they needed to have any chance of becoming champions.

They ultimately finished fifth behind the sister TS050 HYBRID of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima.

The Rebellion Racing squad again took a comfortable LMP1 privateer victory with Alexandre Imperatori, Dominik Kraihamer and Matheo Tuscher.

The G-Drive ORECA-Nissan 05 came from the back of the grid after losing pole position to a technical infraction to take its third consecutive LMP2 class victory.

The Jota-run G-Drive car shared by Rene Rast, Alex Brundle and Roman Rusinov finished just four seconds up on the RGR Sport Ligier-Nissan JSP2 of Bruno Senna, Filipe Albuquerque and Ricardo Gonzalez after a thrilling climax to the race.

Rast passed Albuquerque for the win with just 18 minutes of the six hours remaining.

Aston Martin Racing duo Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen wrapped up the GT drivers' title with their second GTE Pro class win of the season.

They triumphed aboard their Aston Martin Vantage GTE by just 12s over the factory AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE shared by Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado.

Third place when to the second AF car driven by Sam Bird and Davide Rigon.

The second Aston, in which Jonny Adam had returned to the WEC roster to share with Darren Turner, was leading when it lost a wheel straight after a pitstop and ended up fifth.

Emmanuel Collard, Francois Perrodo and Rui Aguas became GTE Am champions once their only rivals for the title, the Aston Martin crew of Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana, retired with engine failure.

Collard and his team-mates finished third in class aboard their AF Ferrari 458 Italia behind two Proton-run Porsches led home by Patrick Long, David Heinemeier Hansson and Khaled Al Qubaisi.

RESULT

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 6h00m12.387s
2 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 16.419s
3 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 1m17.001s
4 LMP1 A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1 Lap
5 LMP1 S.Sarrazin, M.Conway, K.Kobayashi Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1 Lap
6 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 3 Laps
7 LMP1 M.Tuscher, D.Kraihamer, A.Imperatori Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 10 Laps
8 LMP1 S.Trummer, O.Webb, P.Kaffer ByKOLLES Racing Team CLM/AER 14 Laps
9 LMP2 R.Rusinov, R.Rast, A.Brundle G-Drive Racing ORECA/Nissan 17 Laps
10 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, F.Albuquerque, B.Senna RGR Sport by Morand Ligier/Nissan 17 Laps
11 LMP2 G.Menezes, N.Lapierre, S.Richelmi Signatech Alpine Alpine/Nissan 18 Laps
12 LMP2 R.Dalziel, P.Derani, C.Cumming Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 18 Laps
13 LMP2 T.Dillmann, G.van der Garde, S.Gelael Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 18 Laps
14 LMP2 D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung, P-L.Chatin Baxi DC Racing Alpine Alpine/Nissan 19 Laps
15 LMP2 J.Canal, R.Gonzalez, R.Merhi Manor ORECA/Nissan 19 Laps
16 LMP2 V.Petrov, K.Ladygin, V.Shaytar SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 22 Laps
17 LMP2 N.Minassian, M.Mediani, M.Aleshin SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 25 Laps
18 LMP2 M.Rao, R.Bradley, A.Lynn Manor ORECA/Nissan 26 Laps
19 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 27 Laps
20 GTE Pro G.Bruni, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 27 Laps
21 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 28 Laps
22 GTE Pro A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 28 Laps
23 GTE Pro J.Adam, D.Turner Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 28 Laps
24 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 29 Laps
25 GTE Pro R.Lietz, M.Christensen Dempsey Racing - Proton Porsche 29 Laps
26 GTE Am K.Al Qubaisi, D.H.Hansson, P.Long Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 30 Laps
27 GTE Am C.Ried, W.Henzler, J.Camathias KCMG Porsche 31 Laps
28 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 32 Laps
29 GTE Am M.Wainwright, A.Carroll, B.Barker Gulf Racing Porsche 33 Laps
30 GTE Am P.Ragues, R.Taylor, R.Brandela Larbre Competition Chevrolet 37 Laps
- GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Retirement


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