Winner takes all in WEC at Bahrain GTE finale

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

After an incredible sixty six hours of racing spread over four continents over the last seven months the final round of the 2016 World Endurance Championship in Bahrain is still very much required to decide the outright title winners within the two GTE championships.

Within the GTE Am Championship, and after a near miraculous recovery drive over the second half of the season, the #98 Aston Martin Racing's car of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda still have at least a theoretical chance of a championship victory over the long term championship leading #83 AF Corse Ferrari. That is by admission a very slim chance as the Ferrari only requires a single point from Bahrain to secure both the GTE Am Drivers and GTE Am Team Championships.

After three consecutive poles and corresponding lights to flag victories we can be sure that the #98 trio will not be 'rolling over ' and handing Messers Collard, Perrodo and Aguas these championships without a fight as they look to emulate their team GTE Am predecessors from 2013 and 2014.

Over in the GTE Pro it remains the #95 Young Driver car of Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim who still lead the Pro drivers championship by twelve points as well as the Pro Team championship by just two points. Aston Martin Racing do however trail Ferrari by ten points in the manufacturers championship so still some work to do there from both cars.

Across the garage, the #97 car sees the welcome return of Jonny Adam into the car he started the season in along with Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway as he (Adam) deputises for the Kiwi in recompense for his championship winning efforts in the British GT Championship. Sadly for the #97 car is that after their early DNF last time out in Shanghai many of their championship aspirations also disappeared in the corner 1, lap 1 incident.

What we (as fans) do want to see in Bahrain however is a true manufacturer against manufacturer - team against team battle in the GTE Pro class without ultimate pace being adversely affected (either way) by the continual balance of performance adjustments that has blighted the class since Le Mans. As far as we understand only the Ford GT receives a negative performance adjustment for Bahrain with an increase in base weight and a reduction in available engine power throughout the engine rev range that, in theory, slows those cars by about a second a lap!

Only time will tell whether or not a level race track has been created by the technical stewards of the FIA.

Free Practice begins tomorrow at 12 noon (UK time) with qualifying at 14.00hrs on Friday and a 13.00hrs green flag on Saturday for the start of the six hour sprint to the flag.

Go #TeamAMR
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