Bahrain 8H: Victory and second world title for the No. 8 Toyota

Bahrain 8H: Victory and second world title for the No. 8 Toyota

Matthew Warnier, Media365 Posted on Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 9:25 p.m.

Piloted by Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa, the No. 8 Toyota easily won the Bahrain 8 Hours and the World Endurance Supercars title for the second year in a row.

Only Toyota survived the 24 Hours of Le Mans! While Ferrari celebrated its return to the premier endurance category by winning the classic race at Le Mans, the Japanese manufacturer monopolized victories in the other rounds of the World Championship (WEC). In Bahrain, if the two crews driving the 499P still had a slim chance of clinching the title, it was a fratricidal duel between the crews of the two GR010 Hybrid cars that loomed at the start of the Bahrain 8 Hours. However, missed braking by Earl Bamber in the first corner of the first lap of the race completely changed the situation. Thus the No. 2 Cadillac sent the No. 7 Toyota into a downward spiral, causing it to fall down the hierarchy and lose all hope of winning the race and becoming world champion on a regular basis. The New Zealand driver who caused the collision did not emerge unscathed because, in addition to the damaged front end, he received a one-minute penalty. These race conditions allowed Sébastien Buemi, who started the race at the wheel of the No. 8 Toyota, to take the lead, taking advantage of the Ferraris’ lack of speed. In a race that featured only two short neutrals without the intervention of the safety car, the No. 7 Toyota made its way at great speed through the peloton.

Buemi, Hartley and Hirakawa never worried

It took just over an hour to return to the exhausts of the No. 51 Ferrari, which was then second in the race. The latter could not resist for long and eventually had to settle for third place at the checkered flag. However, the trio of Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen trembled to the end in the face of the recovery of the Porsche entrusted to the Jota team, which finished the race with a margin of just nine tenths. With this second victory of the season, after victory in Portimão, Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa claimed the World Champion title for the second season in a row, ahead of the other Toyota crew and the No. 50 Ferrari team. . In the LMP2 class, the No. 41 WRT car is driven by the trio of Rui Andrade-Robert Kubica-Luis Deletraz. In addition to winning this class, they won the last World Drivers’ Championship title, the LMP2 which will no longer participate in the WEC as of 2024. As for the LMGTE Am, which will be replaced by GT3, the trio of 100% iron for the women was written by the women, with Sarah Bovey With Michelle Gatting and Rachel Fry behind the wheel, the championship history was won for the first time when Corvette had already secured the title before this final stage of the season.

Endurance – FIA World Endurance Championship / 8 Hours in Bahrain
Final standings – Saturday, November 4, 2023
1- Toyota Gazoo Racing No. 8 (Buemi-Hartley-Hirakawa/SUI-NZL-JAP/Toyota GR010 Hybrid) 249 laps
2- Toyota Gazoo Racing No. 7 (Conway-Kobayashi-Lopez/GBR-JAP-ARG/Toyota GR010 Hybrid) 47-inch 516
3- Ferrari AF Corse No. 50 (Foco-Molina-Nielsen/ITA-ESP-DAN/Ferrari 499P) at 1’36”286
4- Hertz Team JOTA n°38 (da Costa-Stevens-Ye/POR-GBR-CHN/Porsche 963) at 1’37”248
5- Porsche Penske Motorsport No. 6 (Estre-Lotterer-Vanthoor/FRA-ALL-BEL/Porsche 963) in one lap

12- #41 WRT Team (Andrade-Kubica-Delétraz/AGO-POL-SUI/Oreca 07-Gibson) 11 laps (first LMP2)

22- Iron Dames No. 85 (Bovy-Gatting-Frey/BEL-DAN-SUI/Porsche 911 RSR-19) in 17 laps (1st LMGTE Am)

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