The #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing crew of Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryō Hirakawa took a commanding light to flag victory in the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship season-concluding 8 Hours of Bahrain race to clinch their second title in a row.
Buemi and Hartley took their fourth WEC drivers’ titles, while Hirakawa claimed his second crown in as many years to maintain his 100% record of success.
The #7 Toyota Gazoo trio of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López made it a Toyota 1-2 after fighting back following a Turn 1 spin after being hit by the #2 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R, which went on to finish 11th after serving a 90-second penalty in the opening hour.
Completing the was the #50 Ferrari AF Corse 499P of Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina.
The trio have had a race-long battle with the Team Hertz Jota Porsche 963, which went on to finish a close fourth place despite the best efforts of Will Stevens to reel in Antonio Fuoco in the closing stages of the race.
#6 Porsche Penske of André Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre claimed fifth, while the #51 Ferrari AF Corse entry finished sixth.
Porsche also took seventh with the #5 Porsche Penske entry, while the #94 Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8, #93 Peugeot and Proton Competition Porsche round out the top 10.
LMP2 RACE AND TITLE GOES TO #41 WRT
Team WRT #41 car of Robert Kubica, Rui Andrade and Louis Delétraz took their third race win of the season, to clinch the last LMP2 title before the class’ suspension for 2024. This was also WRT’s fourth straight win in Bahrain.
The win was confirmed only in the final hour as a long pit-stop for the sister #31 WRT car denied a probable win for Robin Frijns, Ferdinand Habsburg and Sean Gelael.
Completing the podium in Bahrain was the #28 Jota Oreca-Gibson with Oliver Rasmussen, Pietro Fittipaldi and David Heinemeier-Hansson.
Prema Racing claimed fourth and fifth with the #9 car of Filip Ugran, Juan Manuel Correa and Bent Viscaal taking the best result of their season together and the #63 entry of Daniil Kvyat, Doriane Pin and Mirko Bortolotti claiming fifth.
IRON DAMES TAKE HISTORIC WIN
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. – www.fia.com