Toyota Hold On to Win in Bahrain

The #7 Toyota of Mike Conway, Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin held off a double Porsche fightback this evening to take the win in the 2014 FIAWEC 6 Hours of Bahrain.

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The #8 TS040 of Ant Davidson and Sebastien Buemi struggled with alternator problems early in the race. But after an unimpressive showing from the title-challenging #2 Audi the Toyota duo still managed to sew up the 2014 LMP1 drivers championship.

The #14 and #20 Porsche 919 Hybrids threatened Toyota’s dominance from the start but couldn’t repeat their qualifying pace for a whole six hours, finishing the race in second and third respectively.

They were followed across the line by the two Audis, the German team still suffering from a lack of top speed. The Ingolstadt outfit have said they are considering different options for their 2015 powerplant.

LMP1-L was the usual Rebellion-centric affair with the #13 leading its teammate #12 home seven laps off the leader. The Lotus CLM failed to make an impact at yet another race, completing just one lap before pulling to the side of the track with a fatal gearbox issue.

KCMG cemented their status as one of the rising stars of LMP2 with a confident victory ahead of their main title rivals, SMP Racing. The Hong Kong based team’s driver lineup of Matt Howson, Richard Bradley and Alex Imperatori set a quick pace, finishing three laps ahead of the second placed #37 Oreca.

The #27 SMP had challenged for the lead throughout the race but suffered a catastrophic gearbox blowout just 15 minutes from the end. The third step of the podium was taken by the #35 Oak Racing Morgan-Judd, while the #26 G-Drive Ligier recovered from first lap wishbone damage to take fourth.

GTE Pro was as close as ever, with the #51 AF Corse and #97 Aston Martin utilising different strategies and swapping fastest lap times. The gap at the flag was jus 1.5s with the 458 Italia of Bruni and Vilander in the lead, taking the win.

The #71 Ferrari of Calado and Rigon finished third in class ahead of the two factory Porsche 911s, whose title challenge vanished into the Bahrain night. The #99 Aston had to stop early in the race for an ECU change and was unable to make an impact on the front runners.

LMGTE Am saw another decisive win for the ‘Dane Train’ #95 V8 Vantage of Heiniemeier-Hansson, Thiim and Poulsen, driving into the distance from the start. The #81 AF Corse ran a good strategy to finish second, 24 seconds ahead of the #98 Aston.

Best of the rest was the #88 Proton Competition Porsche with the 8 Star Ferrari in fifth and Prospeed Porsche in sixth.
The World Endurance Championship circus moves to Brazil for its finale in two weeks time, where Toyota are almost certain to take the world constructors championship and bring an end to the Audi era.