The Sand Finale: WEC 6 Hours of Bahrain Preview

It feels like it’s been a long time since we saw the WEC field sweep past the Silverstone lights for their first racing lap of the year, but after 7 races in 8 months and 60 hours of on track action we’re finally approaching the end of the road.

Bahrain at sunset

In typical endurance style, it’s down to the wire. This weekend sees the return of the 6 Hours of Bahrain; a race that crosses from blazing light to cold, desert dark before spitting out winners and losers alike. It’s here that the Audi top dogs will turn their victory laps, but across the rest of the classes the fight rages on.

The Bahrain International Circuit is a tarmac oasis stuck in the sands of the tiny island that constitutes the Kingdom of Bahrain. Built in 2004 about half an hour’s drive from the centre of Manama it’s a 3.4 mile grey ribbon that's well suited to endurance.

The season will come to a thrilling end when the chequered flag drops at 9pm local time on Saturday, and while the McNish/Kristensen/Duval team in the #2 Audi have already sewn up the overall championship there are trophies to be grabbed throughout the rest of the field.

Oak Racing look odds on for the P2 win while Aston Martin are in strong positions in both GTE classes, but good results for any of the other teams could see victory go any way.

Off the line the WEC contenders are faced with a tight right hander which opens up into a straight via an accelerating left/right combo. Turn 4 is another sharp right before the Maggots/Beckettsesque 5,6 & 7 lead to tight right number three. Sweeping 9 and slow left hander 10 lead into the back straight.

800px-Bahrain International Circuit--Grand Prix Layout.svg style=

The exit of 11 gives the cars an opportunity to really open the taps through 12, peg back a bit for 13 and then bomb down the long south straight. The 90 degree turn 14 slings them through the almost nonexistent 15 and down the pit straight for another lap.

Bahrain might be far enough south to warrant shorts in December but it’s only three hours ahead of the UK, so unlike Fuji and Shanghai you’ll be able to watch at more respectable times. The qualifying can be seen from 12.45 GMT on Friday (oh come on, you wouldn’t be doing any work then anyway) and the race will begin at midday our-time on Saturday.

As always the fans are well catered for, with both qualifying and race sessions being broadcast live on Motors TV in the UK and online at www.fiawec.com; with commentary from the unbeatable Radio Le Mans it’ll be an exciting evening made even more tense by the silverware on the line. We’ll be covering the event live from the circuit too, so make sure to like us on Facebook and follow @speedchillsview on Twitter for exclusive news and views from the middle of the action.

We’ve only got 6 hours of racing left in the 2013 WEC, and what a finale we’re in for. Seven trophies are still up for grabs, so each and every driver will be keen to see the year out with a bang. We’ll see you in a few days time for the FIA WEC 6 Hours of Bahrain.

Jamie Snelling is a freelance motorsport journalist and 7 time Speed Chills veteran. Contact him on Twitter (@speedchillsview)