There are people who work even better under pressure – our works drivers competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC are no exception. Because in the penultimate race of the season, the 6h of Bahrain, they had to score the maximum number of points to keep the battle for the championship open before the final.
So, what Kévin Estre, Gianmaria Bruni and their fellow drivers delivered on the track, in starting numbers 91 and 92 was truly exciting. But keeping the tyres working over the long distance in the desert heat was like driving on a razor's edge.
From the beginning of the race, in which the two factory RSRs started from places 1 and 2, the drivers kept their cool despite the 35-degree heat in the shade. They fended off attacks from the competition and spared the Michelin tyres. Thanks to the support of the pit crews and race strategists, they had a narrow advantage, which they used consistently. The insights gained from the practice sessions and the long experience of the well-rehearsed team played a big role here.
The result: the #92 911 RSR crossed the finish line in the GTE-Pro class with a 0.690-second lead over its sister car. Estre and Jani were thus able to reduce the gap in the drivers' championship to a single point before the final race. And regain our lead in the manufacturers' championship.
The customer teams in the GTE-Am class also impressed: Dempsey-Proton Racing and Team Project 1 each clinched a place on the podium.
So we can look forward to the coming weekend, when the big season final is also scheduled in Bahrain – and with it, the decision as to who can call themselves world champion.
GTE-Pro class results
1st Estre/Jani (F/CH), Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR #92, 174 laps
2nd Lietz/Bruni (A/I), Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR #91, 174 laps
3rd Calado/Pier Guidi (GB/I), AF Corse, Ferrari 488 GTE, #51, 174 laps
4th Serra/Molina (BR/E), AF Corse, Ferrari 488 GTE, #52, 174 laps
GTE-Am class results
1st Keating/Pereira/Fraga (USA/L/BR), TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE #33, 172 laps
2nd Ried/Campbell/Evans (D/AUS/NZ), Dempsey-Proton Racing, Porsche 911 RSR #77, 172 laps
3rd Perfetti/Cairoli/Pera (N/I/I), Team Project 1, Porsche 911 RSR, #56, 172 laps
6th Wainwright/Barker/Gamble (GB/GB/GB), GR Racing, Porsche 911 RSR, #86, 171 laps
13th Andlauer/de Leener/Al Qubaisi (F/B/UAE), Dempsey-Proton Racing, Porsche 911 RSR #88, 166 laps