FIA WEC Bahrain 6 Hours Resources
LMP1 – End of an era
» The victory for Toyota makes it 5 wins for the #8 Toyota, to Porsches 4 wins for the #2. The deciding factor was the double points score at Le Mans. Despite a strong finish, Toyota were unable to overcome the extra points.
» Porsche were unable to surpass the Audi number of victories. Both VAG brands have 17 victories each, and Toyota has 16 after Bahrain. Should Toyota continue into the super-season, they will almost certainly beat this record.
» Toyota enjoyed better tyre wear than Porsche at Bahrain. Although the cars appeared close in outright speed, the Porsche dropped back as the tyres wore, allowing Toyota to run off.
» Fortunately for Lopez he ran a clean race with no major incidents. Unfortunately the WTCC champion appeared to chew through tyres at a record rate. The #7 ran softer tyres than the #8, which allowed the car to be fast in the initial stages, but the speed drop off was massive.
» Not only did Toyota manage the tyres better, they also appeared to have better fuel mileage than the Porsches. The 919s pitted a lap, sometimes 2 laps later than the TS050s.
» The #2 Porsche collected a bollard, which lodged itself under the car. There was a bit of bad luck involved in this incident, as the Toyota in front of the Porsche also looked to have run over the bollard, and didn’t collect it. The result of that could have been very different.
» The incident between Kobayashi and Christensen in the GTE Porsche cost the #7 a chance of victory. The stewards decision was particularly surprising, penalising the Toyota for the incident. What is your opinion on the incident?
» #1 Porsche 919 versus the #86 Gulf Racing Porsche was a bit more clear cut. The #1 was penalised for the dive bomb on the GTE-Am Porsche.
LMP2 – Drama till the end
» The pole sitting #36 Signatech Alpine employed an unusual strategy. The first stop they changed left sides only, and then didn’t change tyres at all in the second stop. By the third stint the car had done 2 full stints on the right hand side tyres, and was losing 4-5 seconds a lap. The odd strategy proved too much to cope with for Nico Lapierre and the car felt out of the lead battle.
» Oliver Jarvis showed he meant business right from the green. The Brit left Senna no room on the exit of turn 1 on the restart, forcing the Brazilian off he road.
» A similar incident happened with the #24 Manor. JEV put up a robust defense against Senna, with the Rebellion having to leave the road again. Senna responded with a surprise move down the inside into the hairpin. Race control, with another odd penalty, penalised the #31 Rebellion 5 seconds for the move.
» The poor Signatech strategy and fading Manor challenge left a direct battle between the #38 and #31 for the title. The #38 had a 30 second lead over the #31 by the time the penalty and other cars were finished with.
» The turning point was caused by a FCY announcement for a cat on the circuit. The #38 reacted quickly to the announcement, which was then cancelled as the cat left the circuit safely. The early stop meant that the #38 would be short on fuel at the end, requiring a splash – something that became apparent as the race went on.
» Rebellion taking the LMP2 Title is a strong response to those who said that they would struggle after running in LMP1 with minimal competition. After teething problems with the new LMP2 Oreca, and adjusting to running in the class, Rebellion got their act together for a strong finish for the year.
» G-Drive Racing never featured in the race. Roman Rusinov was at the wheel for the first stint and dropped back early on. The car never recovered after that. G-Drive has always been fast and struggled with consistency and incidents, so to see them off the pace was unusual. Is Roman playing the “I should be a Silver driver” game again?
GTE-Pro – Ferrari vs everybody
» Ferrari were the only consistent front running team in the GTE-Pro class. Other teams challenges came and went as the race progressed. AF Corse appear to be the best at having the car work over a full race distance.
» The GTE-Pro race appeared to be the most balanced race under the Auto-BoP system so far. Ferrari, Porsche and Ford all looked like realistic winners. Only Aston Martin struggled, but with the old Vantage being replaced it may not be a major concern for Prodrive.
» Porsche had the title challenge backwards. The #92, behind the #91 on the standings, ran in front of the #91 early on. The #92 adapted the strategy and tyre choice early, and once it was clear they had made the right calls, the #91 followed. Had Porsche got it right earlier, would the #91 have challenged the Ferraris more?
» The stewards agreed with Christensens assessment of the incident with the Toyota – the Toyota was penalised for the incident. Fans seem less sure of the decision.
» Ferrari swapped the cars at the end of the race, allowing the #71 to take the win and the #51 taking the title.
» Sam Bird had more than a race win to celebrate – he proposed in pit lane and she said yes!
GTE-Am – Aston victorious
» Aston Martin took their first GTE-Am title since 2014, and the first for Dalla Lana, Lamy and Lauda. The #98 Aston dropped to the back at the start of the race but immediately set about recovering. Half an hour in it was third, 1 hour 15 in it was second, and by half way it was leading.
» Both Am Porsche 911 suffered headlight issues. The flickering headlights looked like a connection issue, and both cars required time in the garage to repair.