The probably longest WEC season ever ended in Bahrain with a great double victory for Porsche. Having won the first race with the new 911 RSR last year in Silverstone, the Porsche Motorsport team took their third victiry at the 8h of Bahrain. The customer racing teams Project 1 and Demspey-Proton Racing also celebrated a double podium.
A great highlight in the season’s final in Bahrain: Porsche celebrates a double win.
The tyre strategy was key to success.
The endurance race on the 5.412 kilometre Grand Prix circuit in Sakhir is known for the tarmac being harsh on tyres. As a result, the tyre strategy of all teams throughout the weekend was even more critical than usual. To be strategically positioned for the race, Porsche used two different tyre strategies: pole setter Michael Christensen and Kévin Estre each had a fresh set of slick tyres available for qualifying. In contrast, the sister team of Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni shared a set of tyres and qualified in 4th place - but this strategy gave them an extra set of slick tyres for the race.
Start-finish victory for the Estre and Christensen team.
The 8h of Bahrain started with very high air and asphalt temperatures. Leading from the pole position, Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen in the #92 dominated the race from the beginning. They only had to give up the lead once - Bruni and Lietz's sister car only changed two tyres at the first refuelling stop and therefore had a shorter standing time. From 4th place on the grid, the two drivers of the #91 delivered an exciting race with the sister car until the third pit stop.
The yellow phase, which led to an early pit-stop, ended earlier than expected, which meant that the lead of #91 in the pit lane had to be passed. After about four hours, the safety car saw its only appearance in this race and Bruni and Lietz's #91 caught up with the leading sister car. In cooling temperatures, Lietz and Bruni were able to fight their way up to second place a good three hours before the end of the race, which they were unable to take away from Estre and Christensen's #92 until the finish line.
Double podium in customer racing.
Team Project 1 again took first place as last year. This year the winner was the Porsche 911 RSR model 2017 #56, driven by Egidio Perfetti, brand ambassador Jörg Bergmeister and Larry ten Voorde. Third place went to the Dempsey-Proton team with Porsche Junior Jaxon Evans, who made his debut in the Endurance World Championship, Marco Holzer and Khaled Al Qubaisi.
It is with these great results that we see the end of the 2019/2020 season. But preparations for next season are already underway: in March 2021, the 9th season will launch with the 1,000 miles of Sebring.