Lets get set for the WEC concluding races from Bahrain this weekend and next!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

About a month ago last weekend, the World Endurance Championship should have been at the Fuji International Speedway in Japan running out their penultimate round of the ninth season before going onto Bahrain in four weeks’ time from now for the season finale.

That however, all got changed and rescheduled because of ‘you know what’ to leave us with a double visit to Bahrain to the see out the 2021 World Endurance Championship with fourteen hours of racing spread over this weekend and next.

We of course have to cast our minds way back to the 22nd August for the last round of the Championship at an also COVID-19 revised date for the 24Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de La Sarthe in France – a race that saw the extremes of motor racing for then four car Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE entries from TF Sport and Northwest Racing AMR.

One of those four cars was the TF Sport entry for their European Le Mans Series entries of John Hartshorne, Ollie Hancock and Ross Gunn and will therefore not be competing in these two rounds in the desert.

The other three Aston’s however, most certainly will with be entering both races with (by our basic mathematical input and ready reckoning) each car still in with a shout of the GTE Am Drivers and Team’s Championship’s should the results of others before them all go in their favour – easier said than done we know!!

With both a six hour race this weekend and then an eight-hour race next, the sum total of Championship points available equates to a maximum of sixty-three points, with these being split 25 points and 38 points respectively.

The #33 TF Sport entered car of Ben Keating, Dylan Pereira and Felipe Fraga remains the highest placed Aston crew in the GTE Am class in second having finished second at Le Mans behind the now Championship leading #83 AF Corse Ferrari crew of Francois Perroda, Nicklas Neilson and Alessio Rovera. They now stand with a 36.5 points deficit to the Ferrari crew going into Bahrain.

The #98 Northwest AMR crew of Paul Dalla Lana, Augusto Farfus (back in the squad after missing Le Mans with them) and Marcos Gomes are the next best placed Aston crew but they remain in P6 in the Championship after their promising visit to France ended in heartache and a highspeed accident for Gomes just over three hours into the twenty four hour race. They are now 58 points behind the leaders!

Finally, but by no means least is the #777 D’Station Racing AMR crew of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Andrew Watson who sit three points behind the #98 crew in the Championship after they shared the class podium at Monza with the #98 crew after the Japanese team’s first WEC podium in P3 before they went on to finish P6 in class at Le Mans.

For either the #98 crew or the #777 crew, nothing short of a race win this weekend and DNF’s or non-points scoring finishes for the crews above them in the Championship will be good enough to take things to a winner takes all finale next weekend.

Thirty-two cars are scheduled to compete in each race event with this weekend’s 6Hr being a daytime running affair but with next weekend’s 8hr an into the night race around the circuits 5.4km Grand Prix configuration.

Again, Balance of Performance comes into play with both the Ferrari 488 GTE and AMR Vantage GTE being affected by the latest round of changes. Whilst the Ferrari loses four litres of fuel capacity and turbo boost, the Aston loses two litres of fuel capacity and a small boost reduction across its declared rev range compared to how the cars ran at Le Mans.

In terms of ‘success ballast’ from favourable results beforehand, the #33 TF Sport car is the only Aston effected by this with an additional 20kg up from its declared base weight from the start of the season.

It should be interesting!!

Photo credits – Adrenal Media / WEC / Teams

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