Stuttgart. At the debut of the World Endurance Championship in Bahrain, the Felbermayr-Proton Porsche squad celebrated its second GTE Am class victory of the season.
With their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti won the six hour race on the Bahrain International Circuit against strong opposition from Ferrari and Chevrolet.
After a tough battle in the GTE Pro class, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) pocketed third place, repeating their recent Sao Paulo result.
“It was a difficult race for us. We had to conserve the tyres from the first to the last lap and this made us somewhat slower than the front-runners,” said Richard Lietz after the race which started at 4 p.m. in 40 degree Celsius temperatures and ran mainly in the dark.
“It only became a little cooler in the night and towards the finish the tyres didn’t deteriorate quite as quickly so we could attack.” Marc Lieb added, “We can be pleased with third place. During my first stint I had some problems with conserving the tyres which didn’t work very well and cost me time. Afterwards things ran better. We simply find it hard in such temperatures. We know we have the performance, but not in such extreme heat. We need to work on this. Hopefully it’s a bit cooler at the last two races in Fuji and Shanghai and then we should be back up there again.”
On the 5.407 kilometre Grand Prix circuit in the desert Kingdom, Paolo Ruberti took off from the third grid spot in the GTE Am class. But after a short time he snatched the lead which he and his teammates only relinquished briefly over the course of the race. At the flag they held a one-lap lead over their strongest rivals. The trio started into the maiden season of the new long distance championship with a victory at the twelve hour classic in Sebring, and now clinched their fifth podium result from the sixth race of the year.
“The whole team is very pleased with this win,” said Paolo Ruberti. “It wasn’t an easy race under such extreme temperatures but we did our very best. Now we’re looking forward to the race in Fuji.”
Highlights of the Bahrain race will be broadcast on Eurosport on 2 October at 00.15 hours. The seventh round of the World Endurance Championship is contested on 14 October in Fuji/Japan.
GTE Pro class
1. Fisichella/Vilander (I/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, 170 laps
2. Mücke/Turner (D/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 169
3. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 169
4. Bertolini/Beretta (I/MC), Ferrari F458 Italia, 169
GTE Am class
1. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 165 laps
2. Kauffmann/Vickers/Aguas (USA/USA/P), Ferrari F458 Italia, 164
3. Krohn/Jönsson/Rugolo (USA/S/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 162
4. Bornhauser/Canal/Rees (F/F/BRA), Chevrolet Corvette, 157
5. Bourret/Gibon/Belloc (F/F/F), Chevrolet Corvette, 153
Updated 2013 race calendar
The provisional 2013 calendar of the World Endurance Championship was updated again on Saturday and includes the following races:
14.04. Silverstone/Great Britain
22/23.06. 24 Hours of Le Mans/France
31.08. Sao Paulo/Brazil
*yet to be confirmed
The World Endurance Championship
Sports prototypes and GT vehicles race in the new World Endurance Championship. They are divided into four classes that start together but are classified separately:
LMGTE Pro class: This class is reserved for slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
LMGTE Am class: Like the LMGTE Pro, but the regulations stipulate that only last year’s cars are eligible and there must be no more than one professional driver per vehicle.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with around 440 hp and a 900 kilogram minimum weight.
SOURCE: World Endurance Championship Porsche AG Media Database
Communication Porsche AG
- Latest Porsche photos of free practice World Endurance Championship, rd 6 Sakhir,Bahrain International Circuit (dedeporsche.wordpress.com)