No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry clinches Hypercar drivers’ title
The No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hypercar crew of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa led the season-closing FIA WEC race in Bahrain from start to finish.
In doing so, Toyota claimed a third straight Hypercar title for Japanese squad Toyota Gazoo Racing with a total of 217 points. Buemi and Hartley also claimed their fourth WEC drivers' titles, while Hirakawa confirmed his second in as many years.
The No.7 Toyota Gazoo crew of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez made it a Toyota 1-2 after fighting back from a Turn 1 spin due to contact from Earl Bamber driven No.2 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R Hypercar . The incident triggered a strong comeback from the trio, which saw them carve through the field to take the runners-up position.
Completing the Bapco Energies 8 Hours of Bahrain podium was the No.50 Ferrari AF Corse 499P driven by Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina.
They battled hard with both their stablemate car, the No.51 Ferrari 499P of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Giovinazzi as well as Team Hertz JOTA Porsche 963. Ferrari finished the year second in the manufacturers' championship (161 points).
While the battle with the JOTA car of Will Stevens, Yifei Ye and Antonio Felix da Costa saw some thrilling action, there was also a dramatic fight between the two Ferraris in the penultimate hour of the race.
Meanwhile, the No.6 Porsche Penske of Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre claimed fifth position. That finish also guaranteed Porsche third in the FIA Manufacturers' Trophy (99 points).
The No.51 Ferrari AF Corse entry rounded out the top six, while Porsche took seventh with the No.5 Porsche Penske entry. The The No.94 and No. 93 Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8 sister entries and the Proton Competition Porsche concluded the top 10.
Cadillac placed 11th after losing time serving 90-second penalty in first hour after contact with the pole sitting Porsche, and the Floyd Vanwall finished 12th after losing 40-minutes after being hit by a technical problem.
The 2024 FIA WEC season will resume in February next year for the season-opening Prologue and round one in Doha, Qatar.