2014 FIA WEC: Six Hours of Sao Paulo preview
If there is a better place to end the season than Brazil, the FIA World Endurance Championship has yet to find it. The 2014 FIA WEC season comes to a close this weekend at the home of carnival, with Porsche still in with a chance of taking the GT manufacturers’ title.
Last time out in Bahrain, the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 duo of Toni Vilander and Gianmaria Bruni wrapped up both the GTE Pro drivers’ and team’s championships with their fourth win of the 2014 FIA WEC season.
Victory for the Italian-Finnish pairing ended Porsche Team Manthey driver, Frédéric Makowiecki’s slim hopes of lifting the driver’s crown after he could only manage fifth alongside countryman, Patrick Pilet in the no. 92 Porsche 911 RSR.
In the manufacturers’ standings, Porsche sits 25 points behind Ferrari, with 43 points on offer for the six hours of racing at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, home of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Porsche will undoubtedly need to score their third one-twon of the season if they are to take their second manufacturer’s crown of 2014 (after securing the inaugural Tudor USCC title last month).
The Weissach squad’s Porsche 991 RSRs have locked out the top of the podium twice this year, at Silverstone during the season opener and two rounds ago in China, where Makowiecki was vaulted into his ultimately fruitless championship charge.
Porsche Team Manthey will have their work cut out though, with the Ferrari traditionally suited to the sweeping Interlagos circuit. Bruni took victory last year (when the Six Hours of Sau Paolo was round four of the eight-race championship).
However, Pilet was also able to get onto the podium in 2013 when paired with Jörg Bergmeister. The German will again be paired with Richard Lietz in the no. 91 Porsche 991 RSR, giving both Weissach entries some Brazilian podium experience for Porsche’s most important race of the year.
Two free practice sessions take place today, with a third session tomorrow before Saturday’s qualifying session. The six hour race gets underway at 3pm GMT, ensuring the 2014 FIA WEC manufacturer’s champion will be confirmed by Sunday evening.
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