Toyota 1-2 after 2 Hours; Sensational Ferrari v Porsche LMGTE Battles

Headlines from 2 Hours of racing at BAPCO 8 Hours of Bahrain......

Headlines from 2 Hours of racing at BAPCO 8 Hours of Bahrain...... 

Hypercar – Led by No.8 Toyota  

·       Toyota Gazoo Racing lead the first two hours of the Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain as No.8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid driven by Sebastien Buemi converts pole position 

·       Swiss double WEC champion though comes under first hour pressure from the No.93 Peugeot 9X8 of Paul di Resta in close battle 

·       No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entered Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar runs an initial third with Jose-Maria Lopez at wheel 

·       But Lopez moves to second position after a second hour Full Course Yellow for debris on track 

·       The two Toyotas run a close 1-2 as two-hour mark is reached 

·       No.93 Peugeot 9X8 runs third but 12 seconds off the second placed Toyota and with di Resta still aboard 

·       Disaster strikes though just before second hour when di Resta stops car just after first corner with a mechanical problem 

·       Di Resta though is able to get the car running to tour around back to the pits 

·       Peugeot TotalEnergies had placed third and fourth as Gustavo Menezes completes first two stints but No.94 moves up to third after di Resta’s issue which triggers a second FCY 

·       Alpine ELF Team moved up to fourth at start of the race but after first stops, where Matthieu Vaxiviere takes over, they drop back to fifth but still in contention in Hypercar class  

·       Di Resta’s problem promotes Alpine to fourth 

LMGTE Pro – Led by No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 

·       Epic battles between Ferrari and Porsche wow crowds and viewers as title battle plays out early amid superb on-track fights 

·       No.92 Porsche grabs lead at start of race as Kevin Estre surges to the front 

·       But in an intense battle in the second hour Antonio Fuoco in No.52 AF Corse Ferrari catches and passes the Porsche 911 RSR-19 

·       Fuoco had cleared Gimmi Bruni in first hour after the pair engaged in entertaining battle that saw brief contact between the pair 

·       The order though is shaken up when Full Course Yellow appears after 67-minutes of racing 

·       This hands advantage to the No.51 AF Corse points leading Ferrari 488 GTE Evo driven by James Calado 

·       Earlier, Calado had engaged in close battle with Bruni’s No.91 Porsche with the pair exchanging position on several occasions 

·       Calado though takes full advantage of FCY and is able to make gains and emerge in lead from first pit stop to enjoy healthy lead over No.64 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R of Tommy Milner which also benefits from FCY period 

·       At second hour mark Calado leads Milner by 32-seconds  

·       Fuoco is third and just a few car lengths ahead of the Porsche pair 

LMP2 – Led by No.22 United Autosports USA 

·       United Autosports USA’s Filipe Albuquerque controls first stint in No.22 United Autosports USA entry after grabbing lead on first lap from pole-sitting Realteam WRT entry of Ferdinand Habsburg 

·       But the Portuguese has to serve a 10-second penalty at pit stop for abusing track limits upon taking the lead 

·       But the sanction does not lose the lead for the No.22 car as Phil Hanson takes over the cockpit and benefits from Albuquerque’s stellar opening stint and some fortune with FCY 

·       United Autosports run 1-2 in second hour as impressive early stint by Alex Lynn in No.23 car ensures Joshua Pierson re-joins second 

·       But the position comes under threat from a flying Rene Rast in the No.31 WRT Oreca-Gibson 

·       Rast makes clean move on Pierson to take second and starts to chase down Hanson 

·       Prema Orlen Team place fourth with Lorenzo Colombo, who heads the Realteam WRT entry driven by Rui Andrade 

·       Points leading No.38 Jota car runs sixth in LMP2 as Will Stevens undertakes his first stint in the car he qualified second 

·       Roberto Gonzalez had started the race for the first of his two stints 

·       AF Corse leads the Pro/Am division after Nicklas Nielsen and then Francois Perrodo enjoy stints at the wheel. Perrodo sits P7 in LMP2 also 

LMGTE Am  - Led by N0.54 AF Corse Ferrari 

·       Iron Dames lead from pole as Sarah Bovy builds initial small gap 

·       But flying AF Corse Ferrari driven by Pierre Ragues wrestles lead from Bovy and establishes large lead over course of the first stint  

·       No.54 AF Corse Ferrari of Francesco Castellacci emerges in the lead after two hours after he took over from bronze categorised opening driver Thomas Flohr 

·       Iron Dames continue to be in the mix for their first ever victory as Michelle Gatting takes over from Bovy at sits second after two hours 

·       Porsche’s place third, fourth and fifth with the two Team Project 1 cars with Gunnar Jeanette and Mikkel Pedersen driving respectively 

·       They head the GR Racing entry which started in the hands of Riccardo Pera 

·       TF Sport sits in a comfortable third place in first hour with Ben Keating at wheel but drop down to sixth after two hours 

·       No.77 Dempsey Proton Porsche driven by Christian Ried spins to rear of the field on first lap but recovers to place 10th at two-hour mark 

Click HERE for results