Porsche Team were celebrating doubly hard this evening after winning the hotly contested Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain and securing the drivers’ world title in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
The WEC season came to a dramatic close under the bright lights of Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
Taking the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain victory were the trio of Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas driving the no. 18 Porsche 919 Hybrid; while teammates Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard in the no. 17 car were crowned FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champions despite being classified only fifth.
Jani was in the cockpit as the chequered flag came down on the race. His team completed a total of 199 laps to claim first place overall while also lead the pack of Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) teams.
Finishing one minute 25.310 seconds behind were the Audi Sport Team Joest trio of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer. They were the runners-up in their no. 7 Audi R-18 e-tron quattro.
Taking the final podium spot was the Toyota Gazoo Racing team of Mike Conway, Stephane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz with 196 laps. They finished 1.177secs ahead of their Toyota teammates Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson in the other TS040-Hybid in fourth place.
After experiencing technical problems that saw them lose plenty of time in the pits, newly crowned champions Webber, Hartley and Bernhard could only manage fifth place with 190 laps, but it was enough to seal this year’s drivers’ title with 166 points.
Their tally gave them a sensational double to end the WEC season, having also won the FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship prior to heading to Bahrain.
Ending the year just five points behind were the Audi trio of Lotterer, Fassler and Treluyer.
In the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class, the G-Drive Racing trio of Sam Bird, Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal also had plenty of reason to be overjoyed.
Driving their no. 26 Ligier JS P2-Nissan, they managed a late push that helped them claim first place in their category with 183 laps.
Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley and Nick Tandy of KCMG were second in their no. 47 Oreca 05-Nissan; while Gustavo Yacaman, Luis Felipe Derani and Ricardo Gonzalez completed the podium in third place in their no. 28 G-Drive Ligier.
In the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance Pro (LMGTE Pro) class, the Porsche Team Manthey duo of Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki triumphed with a total of 173 laps in their Porsche 911 RSR.
In second place were AF Corse’s Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander in a Ferrari F458 Italia; while Aston Martin Racing’s Darren Turner and Jonathan Adam in a Vantage V8 were third.
Claiming first place in the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance Amateur (LMGTE Am) class was Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda of Aston Martin Racing. They drove their Vantage V8 to a total of 170 laps.
Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing’s Marco Mapelli, Khaled Al Qubaisi and Klaus Bachler in a Porsche 911 RSR were second; while Dempsey-Proton Racing’s Christian Ried, Patrick Long and Marco Seefried, also in a Porsche 911 RSR, completed the podium finishers.