Bahrain WEC: Toyota wins finale, Ferrari gets GTE title

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Bahrain WEC: Toyota wins finale, Ferrari gets GTE title
Jamie Klein
By: Jamie Klein
Nov 18, 2017, 7:09 PM

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

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 its front bodywork, costing 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 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, just having taken the lead from the #8 Toyota by moving on to alternate strategy.

The collision resulted in a slow tour back to the pits and the loss of a lap, and in the end Tandy, Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer had to be content with third, 46 seconds behind the #2 car, 

Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez made it to the finish in fourth in the #7 Toyota, two laps down.

Rebellion beats DC Racing to LMP2 honours

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, despite Senna reporting a power steering problem.

Both DC Racing and Rebellion had to make late splashes in the final half-hour, but the former had taken a full service at the penultimate stop as Tung handed over to Jarvis, while Senna stayed on board for a triple-stint at the end of the race.

That gave the #31 crew an advantage of some 25 seconds when Senna emerged from the pits for his last stop, shortly after Jarvis had to stop again due to a fuel pick-up issue.

While Jarvis was able to close the gap to Senna on 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, delayed by a spin early on when Heinemeier Hansson made contact with an Aston Martin.

Ferrari and Aston Martin seal GTE crowns

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 swan song 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 results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassTime/Gap
1 8 united_kingdom Anthony Davidson 
japan Kazuki Nakajima 
switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 199 laps
2 2 germany Timo Bernhard 
new_zealand Brendon Hartley 
new_zealand Earl Bamber 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1 lap
3 1 germany Andre Lotterer 
switzerland Neel Jani 
united_kingdom Nick Tandy 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 46.641
4 7 japan Kamui Kobayashi 
united_kingdom Mike Conway 
argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 3 laps
5 31 brazil Bruno Senna 
france Julien Canal 
france Nicolas Prost 
Oreca 07 LMP2 13 laps
6 38 united_kingdom Oliver Jarvis 
china Ho-Pin Tung 
france Thomas Laurent 
Oreca 07 LMP2 10.696
7 13 brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. 
denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
switzerland Mathias Beche 
Oreca 07 LMP2 14 laps
8 36 france Nicolas Lapierre 
brazil Andre Negrao 
united_states Gustavo Menezes 
Alpine A470 LMP2 31.364
9 25 russia Vitaly Petrov 
switzerland Simon Trummer 
mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'18.531
10 24 france Jean-Eric Vergne 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
united_kingdom Matt Rao 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'24.322
11 26 france Loic Duval 
russia Roman Rusinov 
france Leo Roussel 
Oreca 07 LMP2 15 laps
12 37 china David Cheng 
france Tristan Gommendy 
united_kingdom Alex Brundle 
Oreca 07 LMP2 16 laps
13 28 france François Perrodo 
france Emmanuel Collard 
france Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 LMP2 17 laps
14 71 united_kingdom Sam Bird 
italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 24 laps
15 51 united_kingdom James Calado 
italy Alessandro Pier Guidi 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 0.174
16 67 united_kingdom Harry Tincknell 
guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 25 laps
17 91 austria Richard Lietz 
france Frédéric Makowiecki 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 32.235
18 66 germany Stefan Mücke 
france Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'01.573
19 97 united_kingdom Darren Turner 
united_kingdom Jonathan Adam 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 1'13.087
20 95 denmark Marco Sorensen 
denmark Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 26 laps
21 98 portugal Pedro Lamy 
canada Paul Dalla Lana 
austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 29 laps
22 61 ireland Matt Griffin 
singapore Mok Weng Sun 
japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 1'17.534
23 54 italy Francesco Castellacci 
spain Miguel Molina 
switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 30 laps
24 77 germany Christian Ried 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
germany Marvin Dienst 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 1'08.533
25 86 united_kingdom Michael Wainwright 
united_kingdom Ben Barker 
united_kingdom Nick Foster 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 36 laps
26 92 denmark Michael Christensen 
france Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 115 laps
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