Porsche fights for WEC title in Bahrain

The GT Team has its sights on victory in maiden doubleheader

4w ago

The final two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be contested in Bahrain over back-to-back weekends. This is the first doubleheader event in the history of WEC, with round five comprising a six-hour race at the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday (30 October), followed by an eight-hour event a week later. Porsche’s two factory-entered 911 RSR cars will contest the highly competitive GTE-Pro class, while three customer teams field five identical cars in GTE-Am.

“We’re tackling the last two races of the season in Bahrain with very clear goals,” explains Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport. “We want to win the manufacturers’ championship and we’re also aiming to take home the drivers’ trophy with our number 92 crew. Last year we clinched a double victory on this desert racetrack. We’re eager to repeat this feat. If we can do this at the final two races of the year, the championship will be ours. Our Porsche 911 RSR is well suited to the special characteristics of this racetrack – and that makes me hopeful.”

Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport at Porsche

Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport at Porsche

High daytime temperatures, falling temperatures at dusk and fine sand at times covering the asphalt make the 5.4 kilometre circuit in Bahrain a huge challenge for teams, engineers and drivers. Tyre wear is a major consideration and a consistent pace over a full stint is regarded as the key to success.

“The six-hour race will be held in daylight,” adds Alexander Stehlig, Head of Operations FIA WEC. “We have to be prepared for the heat. Plus, managing the tyres over a full stint will be decisive. The final eight-hour race will finish in the dark. The challenge here will be a little different because we’re anticipating cooler asphalt temperatures and we need to respond accordingly. It’s sure to be exciting and spectacular for fans, drivers and teams.”

At the first race in Bahrain, points will be awarded following the conventional FIA formula (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1), but for the second, they will be multiplied by a factor of 1.5 and rounded up (38-27-23-18-15-12-9-6-3-2). Moreover, achieving pole position will yield an extra point towards the world championship, so there is all to play for as the season reaches its climax.

Qualifying for round five begins at 15:30 CEST on Friday (29 October), with the race start scheduled for 10:00 the following day.

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