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Sunday, December 10, 2023

#8 Toyota claims title with victory, Iron Dames wins final GTE race

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Hartley, Buemi and Hirakawa had been by no means threatened within the eight-hour bonus factors title-decider, the crew of the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid main each race outdoors of the pitstop cycles to efficiently defend their 2022 crown.

The result of the competition was successfully determined firstly when Cadillac’s Earl Bamber locked up going into Flip 1 after ranging from third, turning across the #7 Toyota of Mike Conway that was attempting to consolidate second-place behind the pole-sitting #8 automobile of Buemi.

Though Conway was in a position to get again as much as third simply an hour into the race, with Kamui Kobayashi propelling the group to second when taking on from the Brit, the #7 crew by no means had the tempo to shut down the 30s hole constructed by Buemi within the opening two stints of the race.

In truth, Hartley, Buemi and Hirakawa ended up rising their benefit on the entrance of the pack over the rest of the race, scoring their second win of the season by a commanding margin of 47s to rejoice their title in model.

It was the fourth championship success for each Hartley and Buemi, and second for Hirakawa, with the latter persevering with his 100% title report after becoming a member of the collection in 2022 to interchange Kazuki Nakajima.

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Conway, Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez needed to concede defeat within the championship battle regardless of profitable extra races than the sister crew, 4 in comparison with two, with their retirement within the double-points Le Mans 24 Hours costing them an opportunity to repeat their 2021 success.

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Begin motion, #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 – Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez, #2 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Collection.R: Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Richard Westbrook, #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre, André Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor

Ferrari emerged as Toyota’s closest rival in a race the place tyre degradation performed a significant position in figuring out the pecking order, with Miguel Molina, Antonio Fuoco and Will Stevens ending third in better of the 499P LMH automobiles.

That was after the 2 Ferraris rubbed wheel within the penultimate hour, with Fuoco and Alessandro Pier Guidi making contact shortly after the Italian gained a place by pitting a lap later within the #51 automobile.

Fuoco was ultimately in a position to draw back to place Ferrari again on the rostrum after a disappointing displaying at Fuji, whereas Pier Guidi slipped to sixth within the automobile he shared with James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Fourth place went to the impartial Jota group following a formidable displaying from Antonio Felix da Costa, Will Stevens and Yifei Ye of their buyer Porsche 963 LMDh.

Jota ran as excessive as third within the eight-hour finale earlier than a drive-through penalty dented the squad’s hopes of scoring a maiden podium within the Hypercar class. Da Costa, who will go away WEC subsequent 12 months to deal with Porsche’s System E programme, was deemed to have rejoined the observe in an unsafe method after working broad into Flip 1 within the sixth hour, selecting up a penalty.

Stevens hunted down Fuoco within the remaining hour after taking on the automobile from da Costa, however fell lower than a second in need of nicking the third spot off the Ferrari driver.

Andre Lotterer, Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor completed additional again in fifth in one of the best of the 2 manufacturing unit Porsche Penske 963 LMDh automobiles.

Vanthoor was delayed firstly by the collision between Bamber and Conway, dropping to ninth and close to the rear of the Hypercar area, however the #6 crew had been in a position to regularly get well from the setback to complete behind the client Jota.

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photograph by: Ferrari

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

The sister #5 automobile of Michael Christensen, Dane Cameron and Frederic Makowiecki was categorised seventh, behind the #51 Ferrari, after selecting up two five-second penalties for full-course yellow infringements.

It was one other lacklustre outing for Peugeot with the unconventional 9X8 that is because of obtain a significant improve subsequent 12 months, with one of the best of its two automobiles pushed by Gustavo Menezes, Loic Duval and Nico Muller ending two laps off the lead in eighth.

A drive-through penalty for breaking FCY guidelines left the sister #93 automobile of Mikkel Jensen, Paul di Resta and Jean-Eric Vergne ninth, forward of the Proton Porsche of Neel Jani, Gianmaria Bruni and Harry Tincknell.

Cadillac might by no means get well from the 60-second cease/go penalty handed to Bamber for colliding with Conway’s Toyota firstly, consigning him and team-mates Richard Westbrook and Alex Lynn to eleventh – three laps off the lead.

#41 Team WRT Oreca 07 - Gibson: Rui Andrade, Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

#41 Group WRT Oreca 07 – Gibson: Rui Andrade, Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz

WRT triumphs within the LMP2

The last-ever LMP2 title in WEC went to WRT after Louis Deletraz, Robert Kubica and Rui Andrade charged their means from tenth to attain their third victory of the season within the #41 ORECA 07.

It was a 1-2 end for the Belgian outfit, with Robin Frijns, Ferdinand Habsburg and Sean Gelael ending 9 seconds down within the sister #31 automobile.

The #41 crew arrived in Bahrain with a 33-point lead over the Le Mans 24-Hour profitable Inter Europol group, with 39 accessible throughout qualifying and the race.

However Inter Europol by no means featured on the sharp finish of the sphere, with a short stoppage within the fourth hour with Albert Costa ending any possibilities of a shock swing within the title battle.

Costa, Jakub Smiechowski and Fabio Scherer had been ultimately categorised sixth within the #34 ORECA.

The ultimate spot on the rostrum went to the #28 JOTA of Pietro Fittipaldi, Oliver Rasmussen and David Heinemeier-Hansson, which like the 2 WRT automobiles accomplished the race with 10 pitstops versus 11 for almost all of the LMP2 area.

The early components of the race was led by the Vector group after Gabriel Aubry was in a position to keep away from the opening lap pile-up triggered by the #22 United Autosports ORECA of Phil Hanson crashing into the Vanwall LMH automobile of Tristan Vautier. Vautier was collected by pole-sitter Tom Blomqvist, who had already misplaced positions after working broad at Flip 1 within the sister #23 United Autosports.

However a shock victory for Vector wasn’t to be, with the group hit with a 90-second cease/go penalty for working low tyre pressures than allowed. The #10 ORECA would ultimately retire from the race with a throttle situation within the remaining hour.

Vector’s troubles allowed the #23 United automobile to extremely retake the lead, solely for a similar tyre strain punishment to depart Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Joshua Pierson eighth within the remaining order.

#85 Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

#85 Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR – 19: Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey

Iron Dames ends GTE period with win

The Iron Dames group claimed its maiden victory within the farewell WEC race for GTE automobiles, with Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey taking prime honours within the #85 Porsche 911 RSR-19.

Having completed second twice in 2022 whereas driving a Ferrari 488 GTE, Bovy, Gatting and Frey went one higher within the WEC finale as they beat the #777 D’station Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Tomonobu Fujii, Casper Stevenson and Liam Talbot by 5s after ranging from pole place.

The vast majority of the race was led by the sister Iron Lynx group, with each Alessio Picarellio and Matteo Cresini placing in some speedy stint behind the wheel of the #56 Porsche 911 RSR-19.

Nonetheless, with gentleman racer Claudio Schiavoni feeling unwell and unable to get behind the wheel to finish the required 2h20m driving time for a bronze-rated driver, the group was pressured to drag into the pits to retire the automobile on the finish of the sixth hour.

This prompted Iron Dames to the lead, a place the all-female crew retained till the chequered flag was waved at 10pm native time.

The rostrum was accomplished by Ian James, Daniel Mancinelli and Alex Riberas within the Coronary heart of Racing Aston Martin.

Corvette trio Ben Keating, Nicky Catsburg and Nicolas Varrone rounded off their title-winning season in seventh.

WEC 8 Hours of Bahrain – race outcomes

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