Stuttgart. With the six-hour race on the Bahrain International Circuit on 21 November, the 2015 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) draws to a close. The Porsche teams travel to the desert kingdom with excellent championship chances: At the season finale, they could still score a total of four titles.
After Porsche already clinched its first World Championship manufacturers’ title since 1986 at the penultimate round in Shanghai on 1 November, the marque now sets its sights on the drivers’ championship.
The Porsche factory pilots Mark Webber (AUS), Brendon Hartley (NZ) , and Timo Bernhard (D), who share the wheel of the innovative Porsche 919 Hybrid in the LMP1 class, currently have 155 points to their credit, giving them a twelve-point lead over the Audi drivers Marcel Fässler (CH), André Lotterer (D) and Benoît Tréluyer (F).
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “With our early win of the manufacturers’ title, which is, of course, particularly important to Porsche, we have been richly rewarded for our courageous technical design of the 919 Hybrid and for the intensive development work within the team. Now we’re going for the drivers’ world championship. One should never underestimate the uncertainties of a six-hour race, with heavy traffic and countless lapping maneuvers. You’re always in thin air at the limit. With the first phase of the race run when the sun is low and then with around two-thirds of the distance in darkness, we are facing additional challenges at Bahrain.”
The bid for the title in the strongly represented and fiercely contested GTE-Pro class has also turned into a cliffhanger. In this category, all titles will be decided in Bahrain. Campaigning the near-standard 911 RSR — the 470-hp racing version of the iconic 911 sports car — Porsche goes up against Aston Martin and Ferrari in the desert kingdom in the fight for three championship titles: The Porsche Manthey squad ranks first in the team classification. Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (A) leads the points’ table in the FIA World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers. And in the manufacturers’ category, Porsche sits second — just four points off the top spot. In Bahrain, however, manufacturers can still earn a maximum of 44 points.
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “The fact that all titles in the GTE-Pro class will be decided at the last race speaks volumes for the strength and balance of the grid, especially in this category, and it’s a reflection of the competitive spirit shown by the manufacturers, drivers and teams over the entire season. Thanks to our Shanghai win, we have improved our chances of winning the title. In the second half of the season we launched a charge back to the top, and in Bahrain we’ll now do everything we can to bring this endeavor to a successful conclusion and claim all three titles.”
Source: Kind courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft