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Bahrain WEC: Toyota dominates after rivals collide

Dec 14, 2019, 8:09 PM

Toyota claimed a crushing victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship round in Bahrain after capitalising on early woes for its LMP1 rivals Rebellion and Ginetta.

The #7 TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez moved into the lead on the opening lap after Bruno Senna’s Rebellion R-13 and the #5 Ginetta of Charlie Robertson collided at Turn 2.

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From there on, the trio enjoyed a trouble-free run, securing their second victory of the 2019/20 season following their triumph at the Silverstone season opener in September.

The result propelled Conway, Kobayashi and Lopez into the lead of the championship, ahead of the #8 car of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley that finished a lap down in second.

Buemi picked up damage in the first-lap melee and dropped down the order, also requiring a change of front bodywork, but recovered sufficiently to seal a 1-2 finish for Toyota.

The polesitting Rebellion of Senna, Norman Nato and Gustavo Menezes completed the podium spots after its double whammy in the opening half of the race.

Senna had managed to recover from the hit he received from Robertson to run second in Hour 2, but an unscheduled visit to the garage to fix a gear selection issue left the Rebellion three laps down on the leading Toyota.

Both Ginettas retired from a race where the success handicaps had made them the early favourites for victory.

The #5 G60-LT-P1 of Robertson, Ben Hanley and Jordan King crawled to a halt in the fifth hour near Turn 9, while the other Ginetta driven by Guy Smith, Chris Dyson and Michael Simpson pulled into the pits in the penultimate hour.

LMP2: United claims maiden win

United Autosports claimed its first victory in the LMP2 class after Paul di Resta, Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque led throughout the eight hours in the #22 Oreca 07.

Di Resta, Hanson and Albuquerque finished 21.5s clear of the second-placed #38 JOTA Sport Oreca of Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez, having at one point held a lead of nearly a minute.

The Jackie Chan DC Racing team, which is also operated by JOTA, finished third with Will Stevens, Gabriel Aubry and Ho-Pin Tung at the wheel of its #37 Oreca.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Roman Rusinov and Job van Uitert finished fourth in the one-off TDS Racing-run G-Drive Racing entry.

GTE: Aston beats Ferrari in Pro fight

Aston Martin came on top in a close scrap with Ferrari to claim its second GTE Pro win of the season.

The #71 Ferrari of Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon had been leading the race prior to the final round of stops, but quicker pitwork by the Aston Martin crew catapulted the #95 Vantage of Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim into the lead.

Rigon did attempt to fight back and briefly passed Sorensen into turn 11, but the Dane was able to retake the spot soon after to seal the win for Aston.

The #71 car was handed a stop/go penalty with 30 minutes to go for spinning its wheels during one of its pitstops, ending any hope of victory, but it managed to hold onto second position after serving the punishment.

The sister #51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado was asked to give the final podium spot back to the #97 Aston of Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn after being held responsible for the contact between the two cars at Turn 1 in the final hour.

The GTE Pro battle turned out to be a two-horse race between Aston and Ferrari after Porsche’s race unravelled in the fourth hour.

Both 911 RSR-19s lost several laps in the garage for repairs, the #91 car of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz suffering a front-left puncture and Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen’s sister #92 machine having to pit with a damper failure.

Porsche, however, did claim top honours in GTE Am, courtesy of the #57 Project 1 Racing crew of Ben Keating, Larry ten Voorde and Jeroen Bleekemolen.

Second place went to the factory #98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, Ross Gunn and Darren Turner, which briefly held the lead before settling for second to equal its season-best result from Silverstone.

Gulf Racing drivers Ben Barker, Michael Wainwright and Andrew Watson made it two Porsches on the podium in third.

Race results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1 Lap
3 1 Brazil Bruno Senna
United States Gustavo Menezes
France Norman Nato
Rebellion R13 LMP1 3 Laps
4 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Oreca 07 LMP2 8 Laps
5 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 8 Laps
6 37 China Ho-Pin Tung
France Gabriel Aubry
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 9 Laps
7 26 Russian Federation Roman Rusinov
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
France Jean-Eric Vergne
Aurus 01 LMP2 9 Laps
8 36 France Thomas Laurent
Brazil Andre Negrao
France Pierre Ragues
Alpine A470 LMP2 9 Laps
9 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07 LMP2 10 Laps
10 42 France Nicolas Lapierre
Switzerland Antonin Borga
Switzerland Alexandre Coigny
Oreca 07 LMP2 12 Laps
11 33 United States Mark Patterson
Japan Kenta Yamashita
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Oreca 07 LMP2 13 Laps
12 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Andrea Belicchi
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217 LMP2 17 Laps
13 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 22 Laps
14 71 Italy Davide Rigon
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 22 Laps
15 97 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 22 Laps
16 51 United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 22 Laps
17 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 24 Laps
18 57 United States Ben Keating
Netherlands Larry ten Voorde
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 24 Laps
19 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 24 Laps
20 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
United Kingdom Darren Turner
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 24 Laps
21 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Andrew Watson
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 24 Laps
22 83 France François Perrodo
France Emmanuel Collard
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 25 Laps
23 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 25 Laps
24 77 Germany Christian Ried
Italy Riccardo Pera
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 26 Laps
25 70 Japan Motoaki Ishikawa
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Japan Kei Cozzolino
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 27 Laps
26 62 United Kingdom Bonamy Grimes
United Kingdom Johnny Mowlem
United Kingdom Charles Hollings
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 28 Laps
27 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 43 Laps
6 United Kingdom Michael Simpson
United States Chris Dyson
United Kingdom Guy Smith
Ginetta G60-LT-P1 LMP1 62 Laps
90 Turkey Salih Yoluc
Ireland Charles Eastwood
United Kingdom Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 79 Laps
5 United Kingdom Charles Robertson
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
United Kingdom Jordan King
Ginetta G60-LT-P1 LMP1 114 Laps
88 United Arab Emirates Khaled Al Qubaisi
Belgium Adrien de Leener
Austria Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 148 Laps
Bahrain WEC: Toyota holds 1-2 after Rebellion woes

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About this article

Series WEC
Event Bahrain
Sub-event Race
Drivers Kamui Kobayashi , Mike Conway , Jose Maria Lopez
Author Rachit Thukral