2015 FIA WEC: Six Hours of Bahrain preview
This is it. The 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season all boils down to the final six-hour race in the heat of the desert at the Bahrain International Circuit, near Sakhir.
After securing the manufacturers’ title for the first time since 1986 in Shanghai, Porsche heads to the Middle East with the no. 17 crew of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard leading the way in the drivers’ standings.
The trio, who have won four races this year, hold a 12-point advantage over the no. 7 Audi crew meaning that, even if André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer triumph in Bahrain with the no. 8 car in second, the no. 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid can still finish third and wrap up the title.
After topping two of the three free practice sessions so far in Bahrain (the final session this morning by more than a second), Webber, Hartley and Bernhard will undoubtedly head into tomorrow’s race confident of further success.
The same cannot be said of Porsche Team Manthey who are locked in a tight dual with Ferrari for the three FIA WEC GTE class titles. The 458 Italias (in their last race) have outpaced the Porsche 911 RSRs in all three free practice sessions.
Patrick Pilet and Frédéric Makowiecki in the no. 92 machine have run the Ferraris close during testing however, Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen have consistently struggled in the sister car.
Lietz does currently lead the drivers’ championship though, with a 20-point buffer to the chasing Ferrari racers, almost ensuring him the title ahead of Saturday’s race.
Ferrari currently lead the way in the GT manufacturers’ standings by just four points with a total of 44 points still to play for (25 for a win, 18 for second and one for pole position).
Qualifying takes place today from 5:00pm local time, with the final six-hour encounter of the 2015 season starting at 12pm midday and racing into the dusk.
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