WEC: World champions Porsche to fight for the drivers’ title

© DR

After having won the world championship title for manufacturers, Porsche is determined to also take the drivers’ title at the final round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) on November 19 in Bahrain. This year’s Le Mans winners, Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE), have an advantage of 17 points ahead of the best placed Toyota. In other words: bringing home the 919 Hybrid in fifth place would be enough for the title win, even if the Toyota wins and also takes the one point for pole position. The basic requirement is a clean and error free six-hour race.


While the driving trio in the number 2 car fights for the title, the number 1 car’s crew also faces an emotional weekend: Bahrain will see the trio of Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) racing together for the very last time after the former Formula One driver announced his retirement at the end of the season. In the future he will join Porsche in his new role as special representative. The three drivers, who are still the reigning world champions, have won four races so far this season. However, after being unlucky earlier this year and in Le Mans, they still rank fourth in the standings.

The 5.412 kilometre long Formula One track in Sakhir will host the third WEC race of the year to be held partly in the dark – after Le Mans and Austin. The six-hour race will be green flagged at 16:00 hrs local time. This is actually an hour later than last year and means the drivers will have to deal with blinding from the setting sun right from the beginning. At 16:45 hrs the sun will disappear behind the horizon. Slightly cooler tarmac, however, is welcomed by the Porsche Team, because the competition benefits from the heat. In any case, the track has a rather poor grip level because the fine sand from the desert is continuously blown onto it.

« Six wins out of eight races, plus the early manufacturers’ title win, this is a fantastic interim balance sheet,