Ford pegged back in GTE class ahead of Bahrain WEC finale

Ford has been hit with a double performance penalty ahead of this weekend's Bahrain World Endurance Championship finale following its GTE Pro class victories in the previous two rounds

The pair of Ganassi-run Ford GTs have had their minimum weight raised by 20kg to 1268g and been given a less favourable turbo boost curve under the Balance of Performance regulations.

They are the first changes to the Ford's BoP, with the exception of revisions in fuel-tank capacity, since those made between qualifying and the race at the Le Mans 24 Hours WEC round in June, meaning the American car is now running at the same weight as the Ferrari 488 GTE.

Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK boss George Howard-Chappell told Autosport: "That is a significant change and quite a bit more than we were expecting, but we respect the job that the FIA and the Automobile de l'Ouest [who jointly set the rules] are doing."

Howard-Chappell said the changes to the boost curve would result in a 3-4% reduction in engine power and, combined with the extra 20kg, could result in the loss of one second a lap.

"We will give it our all in Bahrain, as we have been doing all year, and hope the changes result in a balanced race," he added.

Ford's rivals in GTE Pro have all had BoP adjustments over the post-Le Mans leg of the WEC.

Most recently, Ferrari was given a turbo boost reduction and the Aston Martin Vantage GTE and the Porsche 911 RSR larger-diameter engine air-restrictors before the Shanghai round earlier this month.

Ford drivers Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell led home Ford one-two finishes in both Shanghai and at Fuji last month.

The GT drivers' points are led by Aston Martin Racing duo Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen, who have a 12-point advantage over AF Corse Ferrari drivers Sam Bird and Davide Rigon.

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