Today in a press conference held today the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), has announced its plans for the upcoming Six Hours of Bahrain endurance race, that will take place November 29 and 30 at “the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East.”FIA Six Hours of Bahrain Returns to the Kingdom; Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, MRF Challenge and BIC 2,000cc Challenge to feature as support races,
The Six Hours of Bahrain is the eighth and final round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). This year’s championship follows the debut season held last year. This season’s calendar also includes races in the UK, Belgium, France, Brazil, the US, Japan and China. For the second straight year, Bahrain has the privilege of being the championship’s only Middle East round of the season.
BIC had earlier confirmed that it would host the closing round of the 2013 season. Further details about the upcoming two-day spectacle of endurance racing were revealed at a press conference held onsite at the circuit premises in Sakhir. In attendance were BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, FIA WEC Chief Executive Officer Gerard Neveu and Toyota Racing driver Alexander Wurz.
BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman commented: “We are very excited to once again host the Six Hours of Bahrain for the second time in a row as the championship’s only Middle East race and bring the energy and the spirit of Le Mans racing to motorsport fans in the region.
"This category of motorsport has a very rich history; its very essence has been derived from the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France, which is also part of the WEC.
“We had a fantastic response to the debut Six Hours of Bahrain last year and there’s going to be even more excitement and entertainment this time around.”
“We anticipate an amazing weekend for everyone who attends the Six Hours of Bahrain and look forward to giving the fans another unforgettable motorsport and entertainment event at BIC.”
FIA WEC CEO Neveu commented: “First of all we would like to thank the people of Bahrain for their warm welcome for the FIA World Endurance Championship. We’d also like to thank Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa and the team at the Bahrain International Circuit for making the 6 Hours of Bahrain possible and for their full support.
“Last year we had an exciting race and a fantastic ambience in the paddock and we hope this will encourage more fans from Bahrain and the Middle East will come to watch the final race of the 2013 championship at the BIC. We also hope that the fact the 6 Hours of Bahrain is being held later this year in November, with cooler temperatures, will mean more people will come out to see our cars and drivers.
“We have more cars on the grid in 2013 and the quality of the teams and drivers has provided world class entertainment all around the world, from Europe to Brazil and the United States. Later this month we will be in Japan for the 6 Hours of Fuji and then onto Shanghai on 9 November.
"Working with the BIC, the ACO and FIA are building a world class race event at a world class facility. Bahrain was the perfect place to hold the first 6 Hours of Bahrain held twelve months ago and it will provide the perfect stage to continue the hard work in 2013 in establishing the event as THE best sports car race in the Middle East. We look forward to coming back to Bahrain in November.”
Impressive field of WEC competitors
About 30 of the world’s fastest and most prestigious sports cars, run by the world’s premiere international autosport teams will comprise the grid of participants at the Six Hours of Bahrain. Amongst them are former Formula One drivers Alex Wurz, Allan McNish, Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson as well as other talents who will look to make a mark at the November grand finale. Drivers will work in turns, swapping places behind the wheel a number of times as the six hours wear on.
Competitions will take part in four car classes: the Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1), LMP2, Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance –Pro (LMGTE Pro) and LMGTE Am. Similar to Formula One, WEC racing requires participating vehicles to meet stringent technical specifications and configurations. Le Mans Prototype cars are the fastest closed-wheel racing cars in circuit racing today and can reach maximum speeds even higher than Formula One cars. LMGTE cars are grand tourer race cars. The strict regulations help to even out the playing field which, in turn, results in more exciting racing action. Winners will be crowned in each of the four classes.
Racing will take place on BIC’s 5.412-kilometre Grand Prix track. Action will get underway behind closed doors on November 28 with practice sessions. The first open day to the public will be November 29, which is when qualifying for the next day’s race will be held. The Six Hours of Bahrain is then scheduled to flag off at 3pm on November 30. It will end at 9pm at night.