6 Hours of Bahrain - final battle for the FIA WEC trophies
This weekend’s 6 Hours of Bahrain is the last round of FIA World Endurance Championship. Porsche Motorsport already clinched the Manufacturers’ championship but eight more titles still yet to be decided, so we can expected exciting race at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.
The 2015 FIA WEC Manufacturers’ title has already been won by Porsche. The Stuttgart based manufacturer holding an unassailable 70 point advantage over rivals Audi with just 44 points still yet to be won. The LMP1 Privateer Team and Drivers titles have also been won by #12 Rebellion Racing R-One AER and French-Swiss crew of Nicolas Prost and Mathias Beche.
For the the most important drivers’ title, the one for LMP1 drivers, two crews are fighting: Porsche’s Bernhard-Hartley-Webber and Audi’s Fässler-Lotterer-Treluyer. Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard in the #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid holding a 12 point lead over the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of 2012 World Champions Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fässler. Porsche’s trio are the favourites, according to standings and previous results, as they won the last four races, took two podiums and scored four pole positions. Audi’s crew scored two victories and five podiums but not scored a pole position in 2015.
One point award for the pole position can be important in such a close battle. If the #17 crew take the pole position they can afford to finish 4th in the race if the #7 Audi takes the win, because they will finish equal on points but the #17 crew will have more wins. If the #7 crew take pole and the victory, the #17 crew will need to finish 3rd to be sure of taking the world title.
The LMP2 title should be taken by #26 G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan of Roman Rusinov, Sam Bird and Julien Canal or #47 KCMG ORECA 05-Nissan of Matt Howson and Richard Bradley. G-Drive has 16 point advantage.
The FIA World Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers is the toughest battle to predict this weekend with just four points between championship leaders Ferrari and contenders Porsche. To be sure of adding a fourth world title to their collection Ferrari need one of their cars to win the race and the second car to finish at least 7th overall. While the Aston Martin can’t win the 2015 title, their three cars could take important points away from the title contenders.
In GTE drivers classification Porsche’s Richard Lietz is the leader with 135 points, holds a 20 point advantage over Davide Rigon and James Calado in #71 AF Corse Ferrari. Lietz’s team-mate Michael Christensen is currently on 117 points but cannot challenge the Austrian. Reigning World Champions Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Villander are on 112.5 points and are still mathematically able to overhaul Lietz.
LMGTE Pro Teams which can win the title are #91 Porsche Team Manthey with 911 RSR and #51 AF Corse Ferrari. Difference is 14 points. Among GTE Am teams #72 SMP Racing Ferrari of Alexey Basov, Andrea Bertolini and Victor Shaytar hold a comfortable 19 point lead over the #83 AF Corse Ferrari of Rui Aguas, Emmanuel Collard and François Perrodo.