AMR WEC title chargers take to the track for the first time in Bahrain GTE Am title decider

Thursday, November 10, 2022


The first day of the final act of the 2022 World Endurance Championship today as the thirty-seven multi-class competitors took to the Bahrain International Circuit for the first time to finally go about setting the stage for Saturday’s conclusion to another exciting season.

Ten years in the making sees Aston Martin Racing and two of its Partner Teams again in Championship contention this weekend as both TF Sport and Northwest AMR Vantage GTE crews battle it out between themselves to claim the ultimate top step of the GTE Am class.

Five events and fifty hours of track racing later sees the #33 TF Sport prepared AMR Vantage of Ben Keating, Marco Sorenson and Henrique Chaves lead the GTE Am Class by just twenty points from their #98 Northwest AMR stablemates of Paul Dalla Lana, Nicki Thiim and David Pittard going into this final eight-hour event with nobody else in close having a competitive chance at the overall crown.

With a disappointing finish for the #98 crew at the round at Monza together with of course the #33 car’s spectacular but very frightening race exit at the same event has blotted an otherwise impressive copybook throughout the season for both to have gapped their nearest competitor by at least twenty-six points to the car in third to create this AMR winner takes all scenario in the desert.

Going into today’s opening Free Practice session, the Vantage GTE has had another Balance of Performance adjustment made to it with a two litre loss in fuel capacity as well as a reduction in turbo boost pressure across the engine rev range – all on top of further success ballast after a double podium for TF Sport at the last round in Fuji with the #33 car winning and the #777 D’Station Racing AMR of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Charlie Fagg coming home a magnificent third in class for the first time this season.

Those results see’s the #33 car run at its heaviest this weekend at 1275kg, an additional 30kg above its declared base weight, the #98 at 1255kg and the #777 at 1250kg.

Free Practice 1 this morning saw none of the Aston’s run above halfway up in their class as undoubtedly general ‘housekeeping’ routines were conducted by the crews in advance of Saturday’s marathon eight-hour race, some 2.3 seconds off the pace to the class leading Porsche. The days later Free Practice 2 session saw much of the same although the #33 did again only run a small number of laps compared to all within their class but then at just 1/1000th of a second behind the #98 car that ran 24 laps.

Tomorrow morning sees the third and final Free Practice session ahead of the afternoon’s Qualifying session.

What we do need to remember is that, whilst these Free Practice lap times appear off the pace, the #33 car does not need to win to be crowned Champions, but the #98 car does need to beat the #22 by at least 20 points and with the extended point format for the longer race – the variables are too extensive to list!

Good luck to everyone

Photo credit – A Lofthouse / D Gibson / N Dungan / Teams
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes