Toyota took advantage of stumbles from rivals Rebellion and Ginetta, to take a comprehensive victory in the 8 Hours of Bahrain, with the number 7 entry finishing one lap ahead of the number 8 sister car.
Toyota had been on the back foot in qualifying after performance penalties saw the Japanese quad fall behind the non-hybrid LMP1’s/ Their luck changed early in the race however, when the number 7 TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez took the lead when Bruno Senna’s Rebellion R-13 and the number 5 Ginetta of Charlie Robertson clashed on the opening lap – which also caught out Sebastien Buemi who was forced to pit for a change of front bodywork.
The number 7 car was never threatened, taking their first win since their victory at the opening WEC round at Silverstone and elevating Conway, Kobayashi and Lopez into the lead of the championship, ahead of the number 8 car of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley.
The pole-sitting Rebellion of Senna, Norman Nato and Gustavo Menezes finished third after recovering from a gear-selection issue.
United Autosports took their first LMP2 victory with Paul di Resta, Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque remaining unchallenged throughout the race in the number 22 Oreca; finishing over 20 seconds clear of the second-placed number 38 JOTA Sport Oreca of Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzales and number 37 sister entry of Will Stevens, Gabriel Aubry and Ho-Pin Tung.
Aston Martin won an arm-wrestle with Ferrari to take GTE Pro which was eventually decided in the pits when the Aston Martin crew made quick work of their stop, putting the number 95 Vantage of Sorensen and Thiim into the lead ahead of the number 71 Ferrari of Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon. Third was the number 51 sister Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado.
Porsche suffered damper failure in GTO Pro, but recovered to take the win in GTE Am, with the number 86 Project 1 Porsche of Ben Keating, Larry ten Voorde and Jeroen Bleekemolen taking victory ahead of the number 98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, Ross Gunn and Darren Turner and the number 86 Gulf Racing drivers Ben Barker, Michael Wainwright.
Images – Adrenal Media
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