Ferrari wins all before them; Calado and Pier Guidi crowned GT Drivers’ Champions
Ferrari proved once again to be the team to beat in 2017.
Ferrari proved once again to be the team to beat in 2017. The Prancing Horse has this year in the FIA World Endurance Championship taken a fifth FIA GT Manufacturers title in six years, a first FIA GT Drivers title (the first to be awarded as a world championship title), a fifth victory of the season in today’s 6 Hours of Bahrain, and for AF Corse, a fourth GTE Pro Teams Trophy since 2012.
The No.71 Ferrari 488 GTE of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon was presented with the win in the LMGTE Pro class by their team mates James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the No.51 who clinched the GT FIA World Endurance Championship title. The Champions established a strong lead through the race which, although pushed hard by the No.67 Ford GT and their team mates, was never bettered. The pass by the No.71 for the lead was in the dying moments of the race.
The No.67 Ford GT of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell, which had been in championship contention going into the final round of the season, finished third after being delayed by a slow pit stop but never really having the pace of the Italian cars. The No.91 Porsche 911 RSR of Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz had been in contention earlier in the race, but dropped back in the final third and eventually finished fourth in class.
The sister Porsche GT Team entry, No.92 of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre, had another miserable race to conclude their 2017 season, and are now eagerly looking ahead to 2018. They were taken out of the race while in the lead of the LMGTE Pro class just minutes before the half way point, following contact by the No.7 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi. They were the only non-finisher of the race.
Aston Martin claim top honours in LMGTE Am as Vantage bows out
The two LMGTE Pro Aston Martin entries may not have been able to challenge for a win today, but in GTE Am, Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda gave the venerable Aston Martin Vantage the best possible send off by winning and securing the FIA World Endurance Trophies for GTE Am Teams and Drivers.
It was the trio’s fourth victory of the season, but their consistency and seven pole positions also added to their points’ tally. Farewell then to the Vantage, and welcome to its 2018 replacement which will be revealed by Aston Martin next week in London.
Second in Am was the No.61 Clearwater Racing entry of Matt Griffin, Keita Sawa and Weng Sun Mok who led home the Ferrari 488 GTE of Spirit of Race for the final podium position.
Dempsey Proton Racing’s No.77 of Matteo Cairoli, Christian Ried and Marvin Dienst had their title aspirations crushed when they were forced to extend a pit stop in order to fix a front headlight just after the two-hour mark.
Gulf Racing had a weekend to forget following a fire in Free Practice which caused a red flag to be deployed. Under the WEC regulations the No.86 911 RSR was penalised and had to start from the pit lane for causing the stoppage to the session. Contact with the No.1 Porsche 919 Hybrid with two hours remaining resulted in a premature end to the team’s race.
That’s it for the 2017 season and we thank all our competitors for a great season. See you all in 2018 ready for the 2018/2019 Super Season!