Audi has won the 2016 FIA WEC season finale, the 6 Hours of Bahrain after leading from start to finish. It was an emotional race for the team as this was their final WEC race. VW decided to pull Audi out from WEC and retain Porsche as the sole competitor in LMP1, this comes at a time when the mother company struggles to get back on her feet after the diesel gate saga.
The #8 Audi R18 e-tron crossed the finish line first ahead of the #7 sister car to give Audi a much needed 1-2 finish. Mark Webber finished third to give Porsche the best finish in Bahrain today in the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid. For Webber, Bahrain was his very last race, the Aussie man decided to retire from racing after this season as he prepares to focus on corporate duties within Porsche Motorsport.
Photos by Marcel Langer
Toyota claimed fourth and fifth with Buemi crossing the finish line in fourth in the #5 TS050 ahead of the #6 sister car. Rebellion Racing dominated the LMP1 privateer class and finished right behind the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid which never recovered from a broken wheel incurred in the first hour.
G-Drive Racing thrived in LMP2 class to claim top prize in P1 with the #26 Oreca-05 Nissan of Rene Rast. The #43 RGR Sport by Morand finished second ahead of the #36 Signatech Alpine car.
Aston Martin managed to hold off Ferrari in LMGTE-Pro class, taking a comfortable win with Nicki Thiim in the #95 Aston Martin Vantage. P2 and P3 went to the #51 and #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs. Porsche maintained a stronghold in the LMGTE-AM class to claim a 1-2 finish. Abu Dhabi Proton Racing finished in first place with the #88 Porsche 911 RSR leading the #78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR. AF Corse came in third with the #83 Ferrari 458 Italia.
Despite having an undisputed pace, Audi has struggled to match Porsche in the past two seasons with the sister company winning both drivers’ and constructors’ titles for two years in a row. Prior to that, Audi had dominated WEC with back to back wins, this winning streak was broken by Porsche’s return to World Endurance Championship. VW Rally team also marks its final outing in WRC this weekend at Rally Australia. As opposed to Audi, the VW rally team has been successful ever since its debut, winning a total of 12 titles in just four years.
For their farewell FIA WEC race, Audi gave it all by leading the 6 Hours of Bahrain in a fashionable 1-2 after the first two hours. The #7 Audi R18 led the race away from the #8 sister car, Toyota started the race by utilizing a different, taking care of the tires in the first stint. Sebastien Buemi immediately moved into third with the #5 Toyota after the pitstop window opened.
The #2 Porsche suffered a broken wheel after the first 52 minutes with Neel Jani at the wheel, the team managed to fix it but fell back into P6.
The top field remained pretty much the same after four hours with Audi holding a 1-2 lead. This time though, Lucas Di Grassi had managed to put the #8 Audi ahead of the #7 sister car. The #1 Porsche was now third with Brendon Hartley at the wheel, the #2 Porsche was still in sixth. Romain Dumas reported poor handling before handing the car over to Marc Lieb in the third hour.
With roughly one hour left, Extreme Speed Motorsport now led LMP2 with the #31 Ligier away from the #36 Signatech Alpine and RGR Sport by Morand. The #95 Aston Martin continued to lead the LMGTE-Pro class with Nicki Thiim at the wheel, followed by two AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs – #51 and #71.
Elsewhere, Porsche held a comfortable 1-2 lead in LMGTE-Am class with the #88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing 911 RSR in P1 followed by the #78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR. AF Corse was third in the #83 Ferrari 458 Italia.