During the WEC season finale, the GT factory team just barely missed the win with the 911 RSR for the manufacturer's and driver's titles. The Porsche GT team says its farewells to the GTE-Pro class of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC 2022 with the spots three and four.
The start from the pole position for the 911 RSR #91 was a good kickoff for the 8-hour race in Bahrain.
What followed was a constant head-to-head duel between Ferrari and Porsche for the lead of the GTE-Pro class. Ferrari was forced to evade into the sand banks to allow the 911 RSR #92 to pass. For a short while, both Porsche 911 RSR were on places one and two. The tension in the GTE-Pro class didn't ebb off
But the desert climate, the racetrack with its constantly changing conditions and tire wear varying in intensity were defining for the final season race of the FIA WEC. It wasn't easy for the GT factory teams to start their attacks.
In the meantime, two Full Course Yellow Phases (FCY) occurred, intermingled with multiple pit stops. This jumbled the ranking anew.
Unfortunately, both yellow phases occurred directly after refueling stops of the 911 RSR and threw both factory vehicles behind. The Ferrari #51 sped into first place and the Corvette #64 onto second place. This seemed impossible at the beginning of the race, but they profited from the first FCY Phase.
Gianmaria Bruni could have secured a chance for the tile by passing by the Corvette.
Right before the end of the race, both 911 RSR switched their spots. Why? The fourth gear of the Ferrari #51 malfunctioned after six hours of racing. For a short moment after that, it looked like Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen could grab the driver title due to the Ferrari defect.
At the end, the results were not enough to get the required points for the much-desired win of the manufacturer and driver titles.
The 911 RSR #92 finished the season final in Bahrain on third spot of the GTE-Pro class. The sister car of the works colleagues Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz reached the finish line on fourth spot.
"We desperately wanted to win the titles for the departure of the factory 911," says Thomas Laudenbach. "We were really unlucky with the yellow phases. So, it became a bitter farewell from the GTE-Pro category. But we shouldn't forget: In June, we won in our class with the 911 RSR in Le Mans."
At the close of the season 2022, the GTE-Pro class of the FIA WEC becomes history. 2023 onwards, the 911 RSR will be utilized in customer teams of the GTE-Am category. Meanwhile, in the Hypercar class of the world endurance championship, the factory team of Porsche Penske Motorsport will enter with the LMDh prototype 963 and compete for the overall victory.
Results of the race of the GTE-Pro class:
- Molina/Fuoco (E/I), Ferrari 488 GTE #52, 231 rounds
- Milner/Tandy (USA/UK), Corvette C8.R #64, 230 rounds
- Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR #92, 230 rounds
- Bruni/Lietz (I/A), Porsche 911 RSR #91, 230 rounds
- Pier Guidi/Calado (I/UK), Ferrari 488 GTE #51, 227 rounds