TF Sport take a front row start ahead of WEC decider in the desert of Bahrain

Friday, November 11, 2022


An earlier third Free Practice and Qualifying session later and the grid is set for tomorrow’s final round of the 2022 World Endurance Championship from the Bahrain International Circuit.

Having started the proceedings yesterday in the two earlier Free Practice sessions in the familiar methodical way that has become synonymous with the teams involved, today saw the GTE Am Class Championship leading #33 TF Sport Vantage GTE of Ben Keating, Marco Sorenson and Henrique Chaves finally get to stretch their legs around the dusty Bahraini circuit after the somewhat restricted running of yesterday.

Despite their increased success ballast increase plus Balance of Performance adjustment, the #33 car elevated itself from its 2:02:934 lap time of FP1 (slowest in class on the day) through to 2:00:577 by the end of FP3 to end that part of the event fifth fastest but just 0.5 of a second off the lead pace.

The #33 car’s only title contenders from the #98 Northwest AMR team saw their drivers Paul Dalla Lana, David Pittard and Nicki Thiim strangely go in the reverse direction in terms of lap time across the Free Practice sessions starting with a best lap time of 2:01:906 but to end this morning with a bets time of 2:02:386.

The #777 D’Station Racing crew of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Charlie Fagg had the most constant build up process running with very closely matched times during FP2 and FP3 but better than their FP1 to end with a best time of 2:01:535.

That all took us into this evening’s ten-minute Qualifying session for each of the Bronze ranked drivers of Keating, Dalla Lana and Hoshino.

Like most of the season so far, American gentleman racer Keating was the fastest of the three Aston’s but again had to settle for second best after the #85 Iron Dames Ferrari of Sarah Bovey secured the final class pole position with a time half a second better than that of the #33 car. The #98 car of Dalla Lana finished just under two seconds back from the #85 car in nineth with the #777 car having to settle for P13 a further half second back.

Obviously, all of this will count for virtually nothing with an eight-hour race still in store which will take the competitors from the heat of the day through to the cool (er) of the night under the floodlit circuit with the #98 crew still needing to beat the #33 crew by more than twenty points for the Canadian businessman and his crew to snatch the GTE Am title from that of Keating and TF Sport.

The race starts at 11:00Am GMT

Photo credits – A Lofthouse / D Gibson / N Dungan / Teams
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