Picture credit score: Toyota Motorsport GmbH
You already know who I don’t wish to meet in a battle? A Le Mans prototype driver. Between the 6 Hours of Bahrain’s general winner Anthony Davidson driving with a damaged toe and LMP2 class winner Bruno Senna driving with no energy steering for a lot of the final hour, these guys are all harder than I’ll ever be.
The LMP1 championships was already determined, however Porsche needed so laborious to get one final win earlier than they retired their 919 and left the LMP1 class. That was deeeeeee-nied, as contact with a LM GTE Am-class Porsche and the following cease and go penalty they needed to serve consequently pressured their main No. 1 automotive to a second place end result. Toyota’s No. eight automotive cruised house to a win as the one LMP1 automotive to not have main, pit cease time-sucking contact with both a bollard or a GT-class Porsche 911.
It wasn’t a straightforward win for one in every of its drivers, although. No. eight driver Anthony Davidson broke his toe after stubbing it on the best way to the automotive, however drove anyway, as a result of I imply, that’s endurance racing. Will the given illness, whoopsie or merchandise of discomfort break the automotive, kill you or in any other case trigger the automotive to lose? No? You then maintain operating.
LMP2, nevertheless, proved why Bruno Senna is a beast of a person. He instantly slowed down three seconds per lap when his No. 31 Vaillante Revolt’s steering failed however managed to maintain their lead till the very finish of the race. Senna got here house solely 10.6 seconds forward of Jackie Chan DC Racing’s Oliver Jarvis, however that was sufficient to win.
This was sufficient to earn Senna’s staff the hotly contested LMP2 groups’ championship—a championship so shut that solely three factors separated the No. 31 from Jackie Chan DC Racing going into this race. Bruno Senna and teammate Julien Canal received the LMP2 drivers’ championship.
AF Corse Ferraris took house first and second place in LM GTE Professional, with the No. 51 of Davide Rigon and Sam Chook taking house the win, and the No. 51 of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado profitable each the LM GTE Professional groups’ championship in addition to the LM GTE Professional drivers’ championship.
Andy Priaulx within the No. 67 Ford GT made a wonderful go with solely 11 minutes to go to sneak third place within the LM GTE Professional class away from the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR.
Again in pit lane, race winner Sam Chook stole all the eye again when he proposed to his girlfriend. She stated sure.
In LM GTE Am, the dominant No. 98 Aston Martin Racing automotive received the race win and the championship it clearly deserved. The No. 98 appeared nearly untouchable for a lot of the race. The No 98 received the LM GTE Am groups’ championship and drivers Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda, and Paul Dalla Lana took house the drivers’ title for the category.
This brings an finish not simply to the WEC season, however the finish of WEC as we all know it. The following two years can be spent in a transitional season because the sequence reworks its calendar to finish with its flagship race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Likewise, its prime LMP1 class is present process an entire re-think after Porsche introduced their departure. Prices had spiraled uncontrolled, and precedence primary is remodeling the category to grow to be engaging to producers once more. LMP1 has lengthy been a racing fan’s favourite class due to the insane engineering feats that got here out of getting few restrictions in the best way. It’s laborious to not be unhappy, not solely at dropping Porsche’s top-class prototype staff, however at dropping LMP1 as a complete consequently.
We’re nonetheless hopeful about the way forward for WEC’s LMP1 class, although. Give race engineers some guidelines and restrictions, and we’re sure they’ll work out a intelligent means round them.