WEC Championships to be won at WEC Bahrain finale this weekend for TF Sport

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Bolstered by today’s confirmation that Ben Keating will be breaking with tradition and staying with TF Sport and their Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE for another season of the World Endurance Championship in 2022, there lies just one more task for the drivers and team to undertake as this weekend’s 8Hr of Bahrain race will decide the GTE Am Drivers and Team Championships.

Arriving in the Kingdom last week with a large points deficit to the #83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE crew of Francois Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Alessio Rovera, last week’s class win for the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin of Keating, Dylan Pereira and Felipe Fraga and three more teams stealing valuable Championship points away from the Ferrari crew has set up a final eight-hour battle that will sort for once and for all the winners of the 2021 titles.

Now just 21.5 points behind the #83 crew, all is certainly not in favour of the #33 crew despite their performance at the desert circuit last weekend in the penultimate six-hour race and with thirty-eight points still being on offer to the class winners this time around, a poor performance form the #33 crew could even see them crew lose out on their present second place position should the chasing #54 AF Corse crew win on Saturday.

Whilst last weekend proved that the mechanical and aero set up of the Aston Martin may not favour it around the circuit on a single lap, the ultimate race pace of the car was where its strength was as pointed out by Keating during one of his post-race stint interviews.

For them, the answer to their 2021 endeavours will be answered in the dark desert night when the race and season is due to conclude at 22:00hrs local.

Joining the #33 TF Sport crew of course will be the team stablemate #777 crew of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Andrew Watson who sadly endured more bad luck during the race after another strong opening stint from Fujii saw their mean green machine move up from its qualifying position of P11 in class to be battling for the class lead by the end of the first half an hour!

D’Station Racing team boss Hoshino was also stepping up to the occasion again during his first stint behind the wheel, holding a class podium position for as long as he could before disaster struck their car as the engine cover unexpectedly flew off along the pit straight, causing them various aero issues immediately afterwards before later contact damage forced the car to pit for repairs. The additional six minutes in the box for repairs compared to their peers routine stop times made the difference for them between a top end finish and not!!

For these guys – another bunch of more than happy Tom Ferrier customers we hope will be announcing a return to the team/series next time around, they thoroughly deserve to have a good finish this weekend to see out their first AMR WEC season with a bang.

The leaves the #98 Northwest AMR Vantage GTE crew of the sometimes-luckless Paul Dalla Lana with his co-drivers Augusto Farfus and Marco Gomes after their P4 finish in class at the end of last weekend’s 6hr race – a race that finally saw an end to any outside chance of stealing the Championship from their rivals at the death.

A differing strategy run from the factory supported team saw the Canadian businessman start from second on the grid, hold the class lead during the midpoint of the race before losing pace towards the end to finally drop off the podium during the final hour.

So for these guys and with nothing else to lose, we expect a strong display from them on Saturday to claim some late silverware to make their season efforts worthwhile.

The first track action due to start Thursday with the Free Practice 1 before Qualifying on Friday afternoon ahead of the green flag for the final race of the season at 14:00hrs local.

Photo credits – Adrenal Media / AMR / TF Sport
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