Ferrari and Aston Martin drivers take World Championship titles in Bahrain
Photo: Photo : "Nick Dungan" - "Photo Copyright 2014 Nick Dungan /"

Ferrari and Aston Martin drivers take World Championship titles in Bahrain


The 6 Hours of Bahrain, the seventh round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, delivered drama, excitement, great racing and – more crucially – World Championship titles for Ferrari and Aston Martin.

Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander in the AF Corse No.51 Ferrari won an intense LMGTE Pro battle through the hours of darkness and, in doing so, claimed the World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers.  It is the Italian’s second World GT title but his first with his Finnish team mate, and Vilander's third consecutive victory in the Kingdom of Bahrain.  The pair have been formidable competitors this year and used skill, strategy and sheer determination to secure four victories from the seven races held so far this season.

The Ferrari drivers’ victory today was not an easy one by any means and they were pushed hard throughout the six hours by the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 of Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke who came through to finish second, just 1.8 seconds behind.  The British-German duo, on fresher tyres than the Ferrari, pushed them all the way to the line to take their third podium finish of the season – one of which was victory at COTA in September.  However, the critical factor in the Ferrari’s victory was its ability to complete the race on one fewer fuel stop than its rivals – five as opposed to its rivals’ six.

Third across the line in the LMGTE Pro class was the No.71 AF Corse entry of Davide Rigon and James Calado and this result was crucial in helping AF Corse to clinch the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Pro Teams.  However, with the two Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSRs finishing fourth and fifth in class, the points accrued by the manufacturer meant that the difference between Ferrari and Porsche is now 25 points and, with 26 available at the final round in Sao Paulo, there is still a chance this can be claimed by the German marque.


While Aston Martin Racing just missed out in the Pro category, it celebrated double Championship success in the Am class.  David Heinemeier Hansson and Kristian Poulsen, re-joined by Nicki Thiim for this round, scored their fourth class victory of the season to seal both the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Am Drivers and the title for LMGTE Teams.   

The title chase turned in the Danish-crewed car’s favour at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the double points awarded, but the No.95 ‘Dane Train’ has been consistently fast and reliable all season.  It survived a brush with a competitor just before the end of the fourth hour, but otherwise had an untroubled run from flag to flag.   Although Aston Martin Racing had already secured the Teams’ Trophy, they didn’t know until this weekend which of their Am cars it would go to, and the No.95 crew has great cause to celebrate.

Taking second place in the LMGTE Am class was the No.81 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Michele Rugolo, Stephen Wyatt and Andrea Bertolini – the trio’s first podium of the season.  Unfortunately there was to be no podium success in either class for Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Al Faisal (No.99 Aston Martin Vantage V9 in LMGTE Pro) or Emirati driver Khaled Al Qubaisi (No.88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR) although the latter finished just off the podium in fourth place in the Am category.

The final round of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship will take place in two weeks at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Sunday 30th November.  The final four championship titles across the four classes will be settled then, and the FIA WEC Prize Giving will take place in Brazil the day after the race.

Full results can be found HERE and Championship points HERE

Race Facts (last 90 minutes)

21:08:06 Buemi and Davidson provisionally win WEC drivers championship - manufacturers title will be decided in Brazil

21:06:47 Stephane Sarrazin wins a week after winning a European Rally Championship event

21:05:41 195 laps completed by the winners

21:05:11 Fastest lap for Toyota #8 of Buemi with 1:45.989

21:04:23 In GTE Am #95 Aston wins from #81 Ferrari and #98 Aston

21:03:27 In GTE Pro Ferrari #51 wins from #97 Aston and #71 Ferrari

21:02:34 In P2 #47 Oreca wins from #37 Oreca and #35 Morgan

21:01:47 Rebellion #13 wins from #12 Rebellion in LMP1-L

21:01:08 Toyota #7 wins (for first time this season) from #14 and #20 Porsches

20:57:30 2 laps to go

20:56:38 In GTE Pro #51 leads by 4.5 secs from #97 Aston

20:54:15 Porsche #91 has minor off

20:53:45 Oreca #27 retired

20:53:06 Audi #1 into pits

20:51:07 Oreca #27 has gearbox issue

20:46:51 Oil on circuit from #27 Oreca

20:45:53 Oreca #27 into pits

20:44:19 Oreca #27 smoking badly

20:41:30 P2 leader #47 Oreca into pits

20:40:53 Porsche #14 retakes 2nd place from #20

20:39:30 Porsche #20 retakes 2nd from #14 Porsche

20:38:44 Stop and go for #27 Oreca for causing collision with #1 Audi

20:37:26 Porsche #14 into pits

20:31:40 P2 3rd place car #37 into pits

20:26:24 Team manager of #27 Oreca called to race control

20:22:20 Oreca #27 into pits

20:19:46 Oreca #27 also had contact with team mate #37 Oreca

20:18:46 Oreca #27 hit by #1 Audi

20:17:31 Webber in #20 Porsche drops to 3rd place

20:16:15 Aston #97 stops #51 Ferrari retakes lead

20:15:14 Porsche #20 into pits Toyota #7 retakes lead

20:14:35 2:00.003 fastest GTE lap for #51 Ferrari

20:11:09 Delayed #8 Toyota into pits Davidson takes over

20:10:33 Audi #2 into pits

20:10:02 GTE Am leader #95 into pits

20:06:36 Ferrari #51 into pits from lead of GTE Pro Vilander takes over

20:05:44 Porsche #20 takes lead

20:04:42 Leading Toyota #7 into pits Wurz takes over

20:04:01 Much delayed Toyota #8 has made it back to 13th - 18 laps behind leader

20:02:56 After 5 hours #95 Aston leads GTE Am from #98 Aston and #81 Ferrari

20:01:42 After 5 hours #51 Ferrari leads from #97 Aston and #71 Ferrari

20:00:50 After 5 hours in P2 #47 Oreca leads from #27 Oreca and #35 Morgan

19:59:54 Audi #1 stops Duval stays in

19:59:27 After 5 hours #7 Toyota leads by 49 seconds from #20 Porsche and #14 Porsche

19:56:39 Oreca #47 has problem getting away but retains lead by 59 seconds

19:53:25 P2 leader #47 Oreca into pits

19:48:35 Porsche #14 drops to 3rd behind #20 Porsche

19:46:11 Porsche #14 into pits

19:42:04 Ferrari #90 drops to 5th in GTE Am after penalty

19:36:32 Stop and go for #90 Ferrari for incident with #95 Aston 

Fiona Miller

Photo:  BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT (SAKHIR, BAHRAIN), 6 HOURS OF BAHRAIN, SATURDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2014, RACE.  1) The No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia took the chequered flag 1.8 seconds ahead of the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage V8; 2) The LMGTE Am podium with l-r AF Corse's Andrea Bertolini, Stephen Wyatt and Michele Rugolo, Aston Martin Racing's David Heinemeier Hansson, Nicki Thiim, Kristian Poulsen, Christoffer Nygaard, Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy.