WEC: Season finale in the desert

After Porsche secured its first manufacturers’ world championship since 1986 on November 1 in Shanghai, the next target is to try and take the drivers’ title at the FIA World Endurance Championship’s finale on November 21 in Bahrain.

LMP1-Preview:

Going into the eighth and final WEC round the Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AUS) have 155 points to their tally and, therefore, a 12 point advantage over the Audi drivers Marcel Fässler (CH), André Lotterer (DE) and Benoît Tréluyer (FR). With a score of 113.5 points and no chance of taking the title, the second Porsche crew of Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) are in third.

The 5.412 kilometre long Formula One track in Sakhir will host the third WEC race of the year to be held partly in the dark – after Le Mans and Austin. The six-hour race will be green flagged at 15:00 hrs local time with the sun setting at 16:46 hrs. The heat and fine sand in the kingdom’s desert create additional challenges.

In 2014 the race in Bahrain was the penultimate round of the championship and it was the first time that both Porsche’s driving crews made it to the podium ceremony. Dumas/Jani/Lieb had started from pole position and finished second. While Bernhard/Hartley/Webber were third in both qualifying and the race.

Since the 919’s debut back in April 2014, it has won six races. Five of the wins were achieved in 2015, four of them were one-two results, and these included the Le Mans 24 Hours. In all seven 2015 rounds to date no car other than a Porsche 919 Hybrid has made it onto the front row of the grid. The prototype is a research laboratory for future sports car technology. It is powered by a downsizing two-litre V4-cylinder turbo charged petrol engine and an electric engine, which is fed by two different energy recovery systems (brake energy from the front axle and exhaust energy). This unique and ground-breaking powertrain produces a system performance of around 1,000 hp.

GT-Preview:

All titles in the strongly represented and fiercely contested GTE-Pro class will only be decided at the final race of the season on 21 November at the Bahrain International Circuit. After scoring victories at the Nürburgring, in Austin and recently in Shanghai, Porsche now travels to the desert kingdom with excellent championship chances: The Porsche Manthey squad fields two 470 hp 911 RSR in Bahrain and currently leads the team classification. Richard Lietz ranks first in the FIA World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers. In the manufacturers’ classification, Porsche sits second just four points shy of the top spot. In Bahrain, however, manufacturers can still earn a maximum of 44 points.

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