Bahrain WEC: Toyota denies Porsche a win in final LMP1 race

Toyota scored victory in the final World Endurance Championship race of the season in Bahrain, as Ferrari sealed the GTE drivers' crown with a 1-2 finish in class

Bahrain WEC: Toyota denies Porsche a win in final LMP1 race

Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson took their fifth win of the year and their third in succession on virtue of having the only incident-free race of the four LMP1 hybrids.

In its final LMP1 race, Porsche got both of its cars on the podium, with the championship-winning #2 919 Hybrid of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley ending up a lap down at the finish.

The #2 crew's victory hopes were dashed when they had to make an unscheduled pitstop after just seven laps as a bollard got wedged under the Porsche's front bodywork, costing them a minute and 20 seconds.

Next to drop out of contention was the #7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID, when Kamui Kobayashi made contact with the #92 GTE Porsche of Michael Christensen at Turn 2 at the end of the third hour.

The contact was heavy enough to put the Porsche out of the race, while the Toyota lost two laps with a visit to the garage for repairs and was later hit with a stop-and-go penalty.

An hour later, Nick Tandy suffered similar misfortune in the #1 Porsche as he tried to lap the #86 Gulf Racing Porsche car, resulting in a slow tour back to the pits and the loss of a lap.

Tandy, Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer had to be content with third, 46 seconds behind the #2 car, while the #7 Toyota of Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez made it to the finish in fourth, two laps down.

Rebellion Racing pair Bruno Senna and Julien Canal secured the LMP2 title with victory over rival squad Jackie Chan DC Racing.

Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent enjoyed a lead as big as 50 seconds at one stage in the #38 DC Racing ORECA but the #31 Rebellion was able to make significant inroads in the final two hours.

Both DC Racing and Rebellion had to make late splashes in the final half-hour, with the #38 car having to make an extra stop after suffering a fuel pick-up issue.

That gave the #31 crew an advantage of some 25 seconds when Senna emerged from the pits for the final time, and while Jarvis was able to close the gap with fresher rubber, the Brazilian held on by 10 seconds to claim the win and the title.

The sister #13 Rebellion of David Heinemeier Hansson, Mathias Beche and Nelson Piquet Jr was third in class.

Ferrari sealed the GTE Pro drivers' crown as Sam Bird and Davide Rigon took the class victory in the #71 AF Corse car in a staged finish.

The #71 pair controlled the opening two hours of the race, but dropped back around the halfway mark when excessive tyre wear prompted a change in strategy.

That allowed the sister #51 car of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi into a healthy lead, but in the final 15 minutes Calado was ordered to slow and hand the advantage to Bird.

The two cars finished 0.174s apart, but second was still enough for Calado and Pier Guidi to take the drivers' title.

After dropping 30 seconds with a slow pitstop, Ford's Andy Priaulx passed the #91 Porsche of Frederic Makowiecki in the final 15 minutes to secure the final place on the podium for himself and Harry Tincknell.

The best of the Aston Martins, the #97 of Darren Turner and Jonathan Adam, was sixth on the swansong for the current-model Vantage GTE.

The GTE Am title was sealed by the #98 Aston Martin trio of Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana, who romped to a fourth victory of the season in dominant style.

Their nearest rivals, the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche crew, lost any chance of contending for the crown when they had to spend several minutes in the garage early on, and eventually finished fourth.

Race result

Pos Class Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 LMP1 S.Buemi, A.Davidson, K.Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 199 6h01m26.294s
2 LMP1 T.Bernhard, E.Bamber, B.Hartley Porsche LMP Team Porsche 198 1 Lap
3 LMP1 N.Jani, A.Lotterer, N.Tandy Porsche LMP Team Porsche 198 1 Lap
4 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 196 3 Laps
5 LMP2 J.Canal, N.Prost, B.Senna Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 186 13 Laps
6 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, O.Jarvis, T.Laurent Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 186 13 Laps
7 LMP2 M.Beche, D.H.Hansson, N.Piquet Jr. Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 185 14 Laps
8 LMP2 N.Lapierre, G.Menezes, A.Negrao Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine/Gibson 185 14 Laps
9 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, S.Trummer, V.Petrov CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA/Gibson 185 14 Laps
10 LMP2 M.Rao, B.Hanley, J-E.Vergne CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA/Gibson 185 14 Laps
11 LMP2 R.Rusinov, L.Roussel, L.Duval G-Drive Racing ORECA/Gibson 184 15 Laps
12 LMP2 D.Cheng, A.Brundle, T.Gommendy Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 183 16 Laps
13 LMP2 F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, E.Collard TDS Racing ORECA/Gibson 182 17 Laps
14 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 175 24 Laps
15 GTE Pro J.Calado, A.P.Guidi AF Corse Ferrari 175 24 Laps
16 GTE Pro A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 174 25 Laps
17 GTE Pro R.Lietz, F.Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 174 25 Laps
18 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 174 25 Laps
19 GTE Pro D.Turner, J.Adam Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 174 25 Laps
20 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 173 26 Laps
21 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 170 29 Laps
22 GTE Am Mok W.S., K.Sawa, M.Griffin Clearwater Racing Ferrari 170 29 Laps
23 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, M.Molina Spirit of Race Ferrari 169 30 Laps
24 GTE Am C.Ried, M.Cairoli, M.Dienst Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 169 30 Laps
25 GTE Am M.Wainwright, B.Barker, N.Foster Gulf Racing Porsche 163 36 Laps
- GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre Porsche GT Team Porsche 84 Retirement
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