WEC: #7 Toyota wins 8 Hours of Bahrain from #8 to lead points standings
The LMP1 class in WEC 8 Hours of Bahrain was almost decided at the start of the race when pole-sitter #1 Rebellion Racing Gibson crew of Bruno Senna, Norman Nato and Gustavo Menezes were spun around by the #5 Team LNT Ginetta in the opening corners.
It was Charlie Robertson in the car, which he shares with Jordan King and Ben Hanley. It helped the #7 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Mario Lopez to take the lead from sister #8 of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley.
It was a cruise in the end for the #7 Toyota crew to win the 8 Hours of Bahrain in the LMP1 class and also take over the drivers' standings lead from sister #8 crew, who were caught out by the opening lap melee and finished a lap down in second.
The #1 Rebellion rounded out the podium, with only three LMP1 cars seeing the chequered flag. Despite the Turn 2 hit, it got back up to second but a gearbox issue hampered its run as it dropped behind to finish three laps behind the #7 Toyota.
Both the Team LNT cars retired, unfortunately, even though they were termed favourite with the success handicap to its rivals. The #5 crew retired at the end of five hours after a spin, while #6 of Guy Smith, Chris Dyson and Michael Simpson retired in Hour 7.
The lack of LMP1 cars meant, the LMP2 winner, the #22 United Autosports crew of Paul di Resta, Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque were fourth overall as they dominated the proceedings in 8 Hours of Bahrain to register its first WEC class win of 2019/20.
The two Jota-run cars completed the LMP2 class podium with #38 Jota Oreca of Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzales were second from sister #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing of Will Stevens, Gabriel Aubry and Ho-Pin Tung.
The #37 was nine laps behind the #38 though. Behind, it was the #26 G-Drive Racing Aurus of Jean-Eric Vergne, Roman Rusinov and Job van Uitert in fourth in their one-off WEC run as #36 Signatech Alpine climbed up to round out the Top 5.
The LMP2 class then had #29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca in sixth, followed by #42 Cool Racing Oreca in seventh, #33 High Class Racing Oreca eighth and #47 Cetilar Racing Dallara rounding out the nine runners in the category.
LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am
It was a close tussle between the Aston Martin and AF Corse Ferrari for the win in the LMGTE Pro class as the #95 Aston Martin of Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim prevailing to win the WEC 8 Hours of Bahrain from #71 Ferrari of Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon.
The #71 had the lead at one point but on-track fight saw the #95 pass the Ferrari towards victory. Even though the #71 were handed a penalty, they managed to keep second from the #97 Aston Martin of Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn.
The duo were promoted to third when the #51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado were penalised for irresponsible driving as both the Porshce had an off run with multiple issues after four hour mark as #91 ended up fourth and #92 fifth.
The latter even finished behind the LMGTE Am winner, where #57 Team Project 1 Porsche of Ben Keating, Larry ten Voorde and Jeroen Bleekemolen took the top spot from #98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, Ross Gunn and Darren Turner and #86 Porsche.
[Image courtesy: Toyota Motorsport] [Note: This report was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]