#8 Toyota took the win in FIA WEC finale 8 Hours of Bahrain in the Hypercar category and also the drivers’ title against teammates.
The No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hypercar crew of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa led the season-closing FIA WEC race in Bahrain from start to finish. In doing so, Toyota claimed a third straight Hypercar title for Japanese squad Toyota Gazoo Racing with a total of 217 points. Buemi and Hartley also claimed their fourth WEC drivers’ titles, while Hirakawa confirmed his second in as many years.
The No.7 Toyota Gazoo crew of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez made it a Toyota 1-2 after fighting back from a Turn 1 spin due to contact from Earl Bamber driven No.2 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R Hypercar . The incident triggered a strong comeback from the trio, which saw them carve through the field to take the runners-up position.
Completing the Bapco Energies 8 Hours of Bahrain podium was the No.50 Ferrari AF Corse 499P driven by Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina. They battled hard with both their stablemate car, the No.51 Ferrari 499P of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Giovinazzi as well as Team Hertz JOTA Porsche 963. Ferrari finished the year second in the manufacturers’ championship (161 points).
While the battle with the JOTA car of Will Stevens, Yifei Ye and Antonio Felix da Costa saw some thrilling action, there was also a dramatic fight between the two Ferraris in the penultimate hour of the race. Meanwhile, the No.6 Porsche Penske of Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre claimed fifth position. That finish also guaranteed Porsche third in the FIA Manufacturers’ Trophy (99 points).
The No.51 Ferrari AF Corse entry rounded out the top six, while Porsche took seventh with the No.5 Porsche Penske entry. The The No.94 and No. 93 Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8 sister entries and the Proton Competition Porsche concluded the top 10. Cadillac placed 11th after losing time serving 90-second penalty in first hour after contact with the pole sitting Porsche, and the Floyd Vanwall finished 12th after losing 40-minutes after being hit by a technical problem.
Team WRT celebrated winning the final ever LMP2 race in the FIA WEC with the No.41 Oreca-Gibson of Robert Kubica, Rui Andrade and Louis Deletraz taking the title in style with a well-executed victory. Kubica took the checkered flag to achieve a third race win of the season and WRT’s fourth straight victory in Bahrain.
The triumph for the Belgian squad ensured that Kubica, Andrade and Deletraz sealed the LMP2 drivers’ title after capitalising on a long late pit-stop for the sister No.31 Team WRT entry of Robin Frijns, Sean Gelael and Ferdinand Habsburg. Champions Team WRT finish the year with a total of 173 points, 59 points ahead of second-placed Inter Europol Competition. Completing the podium in Bahrain was the No.28 JOTA Oreca-Gibson driven by Oliver Rasmussen, Pietro Fittipaldi and David Heinemeier-Hansson.
Prema Racing claimed its best combined result of the season with ourth and fifth, as the No.9 car of Filip Ugran, Juan Manuel Correa and Bent Viscaal headed home the Daniil Kvyat, Doriane Pin and Mirko Bortolotti crewed No.63 entry. Le Mans victors Inter Europol Competition completed the top six despite an intermittent technical issue losing the Polish team time earlier in the race. Albert Costa won the Goodyear WingFoot award for best average double stint during the race. Meanwhile, Filipe Albuquerque won the season award for the best overall average across the 2023 season.
Iron Dames took an emotional first-ever WEC class win in what was the final race of the LMGTE era. Michelle Gatting brought the #85 Porsche 911 RSR-19 home just ahead of D’Station Racing’s Aston Martin driven by Casper Stevenson after the Danish racer resisted pressure late in the race to take the chequered flag.
Gatting and teammates Sarah Bovy and Rahel Frey made history by becoming the first-ever all-female squad to win a class in an FIA WEC race. D’Station Racing cemented its best result of the season as the outfit finished ahead of the sister machine operated by the Northwest AMR crew.
Here’s full results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com/
[Note: The story is as per press release]