Toyota No. 7 wins LMP1 drivers' title in Bahrain
Photo: WEC / Adrenal

Toyota No. 7 wins LMP1 drivers' title in Bahrain

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s No. 7 TS050 HYBRID driven by Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi have sealed the 2020 LMP1 FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship title after beating the sister No. 8 car to the chequered flag in Bahrain.

The No. 7 crew has finished runner-up in LMP1 for the past two seasons making today’s drivers’ title even sweeter. It is also a landmark moment for Jose Maria Lopez as he becomes only the third person ever to become a drivers’ champion in two different FIA World Championships [WTCC and now the WEC]. Meanwhile, Mike Conway has become the first British drivers’ champion in LMP1 since Anthony Davidson back in 2014.  Indeed, it is the No. 7 car’s best season to date in the WEC with a total of four victories.

Conway, Lopez and Kobayashi end the season with 107 points – just five points ahead of the sister No. 8 car shared by Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima who take the runners-up spot in the drivers’ championship.

Overall, it was a relatively trouble-free race in LMP1 with the No. 7 taking full advantage of the success handicap which saw the sister car pegged back by 0.54s per lap to claw a one minute advantage by the third hour.  A safety car mid-race due to debris on the track saw the gap between both cars diminished but after action resumed the No. 7 once again sped ahead eventually finishing the race just over one minute ahead the sister car.

Bahrain marks the final time that the hugely-successful Toyota TS050 HYBRID will be seen in competitive WEC action before it is replaced by Hypercar for 2021.

Jackie Chan DC Racing wins LMP2 battle in Bahrain 

Jackie Chan DC Racing ended the FIA WEC season on a high with the No. 37 car’s first victory of the season in the ORECA 07 Gibson shared by Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Will Stevens.

Aubry provided a thrilling battle in the closing stages of the race as he and Antonio Felix Da Costa in the No. 38 JOTA car were neck-and-neck fighting for P1, with Aubry crossing the finish line just 1.894s ahead of Da Costa to take 38 championship points. The JCDCR’s win is the second WEC victory for a car equipped with Goodyear tyres.

The Racing Team Nederland ORECA shared by Nyck de Vries, Giedo van der Garde and Frits van Eerd took third place.  United Autosports, which wrapped up the teams’ title at Le Mans in September, ended up nearly half a minute behind in fourth following a fuel glitch, a five-second penalty and a spin out on track half-way through the race. The British squad has also wrapped up the teams’ titles after Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque accrued enough points to take the accolade – third team-mate Paul Di Resta missed out after missing a championship race in Fuji. 

Elsewhere, Signatech Alpine Elf finished fifth – the French squad struggling to fight back after a small off in the race’s second hour with André Negrão at the wheel.  Italian Cetilar Racing finished sixth in class, the crew losing time due to a late brake change and a lengthy spell in the pits at the end of the race.

See you all in March 2021 for the start of Season 9.

Race results can be found HERE.

Championship results can be found HERE.