The FIA World Endurance Championship delivered two races in Asia of exceptional intensity, drama and excitement, but the final round of the 2016 championship at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 19 November is likely to be as passion-filled and emotional as any experienced.
Porsche secured its second consecutive World Endurance Manufacturers Championship with a dominant display from current World Champions Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley in China, but its drivers Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb will definitely be looking for a stronger run than they have had in Fuji and Shanghai in order to secure the Drivers’ title.
The LMP2 title was joyously clinched in Shanghai by French team Signatech Alpine, a fourth place finish being all that was required, while the LMP1 Private Team title has been in Rebellion Racing’s pocket since Fuji. However, the LMGTE Pro and Am championships are still wide open between drivers from Ferrari, Aston Martin and Ford, as is the coveted FIA World Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers.
As in China, 31 cars will be on the grid for the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain for the third WEC round which runs into darkness. The always-impressive Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir is slightly different to Le Mans and COTA though as 5000 lights illuminate the 5.412km track, turning night into daylight.
Aside from the top level WEC action, there is a comprehensive support race package from the Porsche GT3 Cup an MRF Challenge. However, much attention will undoubtedly fall in Bahrain on names synonymous with motorsport and endurance racing, names which are due to leave the WEC at the end of this season – Audi Sport and Mark Webber of Porsche.
It’s going to be joyous, tense, emotional and a celebration of the very best of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Don’t miss it!