30.11.13

High drama in LMP1 at 6 hours of Bahrain

At the half way point of the 6 Hours of Bahrain it was Toyota which still led the race, with the no8 TS030 of Stephane Sarrazin out in front.

However the no7 Toyota Hybrid of Alex Wurz pulled off the track with engine failure, forcing the Austrian to abandon his car with two hours of the race run. 

The champions elect in the no2 Audi R18 e-tron also hit trouble with Loic Duval pulling off in the no2 Audi R18 on lap 93 at T10 and had to be pushed back behind the guard rail.  Because the car had not completed 70% of the race the no2 car will not be classified and all three drivers will be confirmed as world champions.  The no1 Audi of Marcel Fassler moved up to second place as a result of the two retirements and was 26 seconds up the road but pushing hard to close the gap to the leading Toyota

It was action all the way in LMP2 for the past 90 minutes with Mike Conway in the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-Nissan taking the lead after putting the pressure on the leading car of Luis Perez Companc, the no49 Pecom Racing Oreca running wide at the final corner to allow Conway to nip through into the lead.  Jon Lancaster in the no41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan was closing the gap to the two leading cars but Roald Goethe in the no96 Aston Martin Racing Vantage spun in front of the Zytek, delaying Lancaster as he took avoiding action.

Status Quo in GTE in the Second Quarter

While there has been high drama in the LMP1 category, the LMGTE Pro and Am has settled into a rhythm and Ferrari and Aston Martin hold the lead in both classes respectively.

All the drivers have now cycled through the cars, and it is the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander which is leading in the manufacturer-led category ahead of the sister Ferrari (No.71) of Giancarlo Fisichella and Kamui Kobayashi.  Third in class is the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage of Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke which is on a slightly different pit stop strategy to its competitors. 

The two Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSRs are forming an Aston Martin ‘sandwich’ for the final three places in LMGTE Pro – the No.91 of Bergmeister-Pilet ahead of the No.99 Senna-Lamy-Stanaway car and the No.92 of Lieb-Lietz.

In LMGTE Am, the No.95 Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim, Kristian Poulsen and Christoffer Nygaard now has strong lead over the No.81 8Star Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia of Aguas-Potolicchio-Rigon, with the No.76 Porsche of Narac-Palttala-Vernay in third place.

The No.57 Krohn Racing Ferrari suffered from further disappointment when it slowed on track and stopped with no drive, leading to retirement.  Also delayed during the race has been the No.88 Proton Competition Porsche of Ried-Ruberti-Roda but it is now running again.