In LMGTE Pro, the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia maintained its very strong form and won its fifth race this year, and the fourth in a row since taking victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The result in the 6 Hours of Bahrain, the FIA World Endurance Championship’s sixth round, seals the LMGTE Manufacturers’ World Cup for the Italian marque and the LMGTE Pro Teams’ title for AF Corse, with two races remaining.
1 51 AF Corse Vilander / Fisichella Ferrari F458 Italia 6:02’25.906 170 laps
2 97 Aston Martin Racing Turner / Mücke Aston Martin Vantage V8 6:01’15.227 +1 Lap
3 77 Team Felbermayr-Proton Lietz / Lieb Porsche 911 RSR (997) 6:01’59.671 +1 Lap
Both the Ferraris, Aston Martin and Porsche in this small but intensely competitive class took a turn as leader, but for two thirds of the race it was Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander who were firmly in control. The Finn was an extremely able substitute for Fisichella’s regular team mate, Gianmaria Bruni, who was in Italy fighting for another championship title this weekend.
They crossed the line 1 lap ahead of the No.97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 of Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke who scored their second consecutive second-place finish in class. Despite the Aston Martin being able to run for longer between fuel stops than others, the British constructor was never quite able to match the class leader after the first two hours when they ran into a small technical problem. Third in the LMGTE Pro category was the No.77 Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche of Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb who prevailed in a race-long, closely fought battle with the No.71 AF Corse Ferrari whose Olivier Beretta was excluded from the results for avoidable contact with the No.41 LMP2 Greaves Motorsport Zytek Nissan.
1 88 Team Felbermayr-Proton Ried / Roda / Ruberti Porsche 911 RSR (997) 6:02’35.604 165 Laps
2 61 AF Corse-Waltrip Kauffman / Vickers / Aguas Ferrari F458 Italia 6:01’07.673 +1 Lap
3 57 Krohn Racing Krohn / Jönsson / Rugolo Ferrari F458 Italia 6:02’06.614 +3 Laps
The German Team Felbermayr-Proton squad were awarded the LMGTE Am victory in Interlagos by the race stewards but in the 6 Hours of Bahrain they won it on pure merit. After the first hour, during which the No.61 AF Corse-Waltrip was at the head of the class, the No.88 Porsche of Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti took hold of the top of the time sheets and never relinquished it until the chequered flag. They finished a lap ahead of the No.61 Ferrari of Robert Kauffman, Brian Vickers and Rui Aguas, the class pole-sitters. Taking a well-deserved third place in the category, albeit two laps further behind, was the No.57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 458 Italia of Tracy Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Michele Rugolo, the result making up for the disappointment of their non-finish at the 6 Hours of São Paulo.
The two Larbre Competition Corvettes both finished the event but suffered a string of technical issues and incidents which delayed them considerably. It was the first time this season the French team has finished off the podium.