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Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2023

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Toyota Gazoo Racing storm to fantastic one-two in historic Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain!

Toyota Gazoo Racing storm to fantastic one-two in historic Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain!

    • #7 crew of Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi triumph in gruelling endurance spectacle
    • #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing triumvirate of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Harikawa secure Hypercar drivers’ world title
    • Toyota Gazoo Racing claim Hypercar World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship ahead of Alpine
    • #31 WRT Team win LMP2 class, #52 AF Corse clinch first place in LMGTE Pro category, #46 Team Project 1 win LMGTE Am

Toyota Gazoo Racing roared to a sensational one-two finish in a drama-filled Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain last night, and in the process captured both the Hypercar drivers’ and manufacturers’ world titles to cap an historic 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).

Toyota’s crew of Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 GR010 Hybrid led teammates Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa in their #8 car to the chequered flag.

The two Toyotas each posted a total of 245 laps in all, with the #7 victors finishing 45.471 seconds ahead of the runners-up.

With the result, the Buemi-Hartley-Hirakawa triumvirate came away with enough points to seal the Hypercar World Endurance Drivers Championship, ahead of the #36 Alpine Elf Team crew of Andre Negrao, Nicolas Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxiviere, who steered their A480-Gibson to third overall last night with 243 laps done.

The winners were presented their respective trophies in the podium ceremonies after the race. Bapco Strategic Business Development Leader Dr. Shaikh Ebrahim bin Khalid Al Khalifa handed out the prizes to the overall winners; BIC Chairman Arif Rahimi presented the LMGTE Pro victors; Bahrain Motor Federation Official Hussain Nasser awarded the LMP2 top three; TotalEnergies Partnership, Marketing and Communication Manager Jean-Francois Toulisse presented the trophies to the LMGTE Am winners; and DHL Global Forwarding Motorsport Logistics and Events General Manager Carlos Fernandes awarded the LMP2 Pro/Am podium-placers.

Toyota Gazoo Racing also won the Hypercar World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship ahead of Alpine.

Toyota’s other Hypercar rivals, Peugeot TotalEnergies, struggled in the race despite showing their impressive pace all throughout the weekend.

Peugeot’s #94 crew of Gustavo Menezes, Loic Duval and Nico Muller finished fourth with 239 laps, while their #93 car with Mikkel Jensen, Paul Di Resta and Jean-Eric Vergne had car problems and could not capitalise on their front-row starting position, completing just 171 laps.

Toyota Gazoo Racing thus triumphed for the sixth straight WEC race in Bahrain and eighth overall, while keeping their perfect record of four wins from four editions under the eight-hour format.

Meanwhile, winning the LMP2 class were the #31 WRT team of Robin Frijns, Sean Gelael and Rene Rast. They steered their Oreca 07-Gibson to a 237-lap total.

United Autosports USA were second with their #23 crew, while RealTeam by WRT came third with their #41 car.

AF Corse triumphed in the LMGTE Pro category with the pairing of Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco. They drove their #52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo to 231 laps. Close behind taking second in class were Corvette Racing’s #64 crew, while Porsche GT Team’s #91 contenders were third.

Team Project 1 captured first place amongst the LMGTE Am competitors, with Mikkel Pedersen, Matteo Cairoli and Nicolas Leutweiler steering their #46 Porsche 911 RSR-19 to 226 total laps.

The Iron Dames all-female driver trio finished as runners-up, while Team Project 1’s #56 crew completed the podium placers.

Aside from the two Hypercar titles, the WEC’s eight other championships were sealed at BIC.

The #51 AF Corse crew of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi won the GT FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship; and Ferrari claimed the GT Manufacturers FIA World Endurance Championship in the LMGTE Pro class.

In the LMP2 category, the #38 JOTA trio of William Stevens, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez clinched the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Drivers; the #83 AF Corse crew of Alessio Rovera, Francois Perrodo and Nicklas Nielsen claimed the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Pro/Am Drivers; JOTA won the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams; and AF Corse came away with the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Pro/Am Teams.

In the LMGTE Am class, #33 TF Sport drivers Ben Keating and Marco Sorensen won the FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE Am Drivers; and TF Sport claimed the FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE Am Teams.

Last night’s Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain marked the final round of the milestone 10th anniversary season of the WEC.

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