BIC, Sakhir Nov 3th 2014 – Porsche Team powered to pole position today for Saturday’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain at a floodlit Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
Neel Jani partnered up with Romain Dumas to capture the leading starting position for the grueling endurance challenge after a tightly contested Qualifying session at “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”.
Saturday’s exciting race is the season’s seventh and penultimate round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). All are invited to BIC to watch the exciting day-to-night spectacle.
Dumas and Jani registered an average lap time of one minute 43.145 seconds in their no. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid car.
Dumas, who was in the cockpit at the time they secured pole, pipped Toyota Racing’s Sebastien Buemi by 0.264 seconds to finish atop the timesheet. Buemi was sharing Qualifying duties in their TS040 Hybrid with teammate Anthony Davidson.
Porsche claimed their second successive pole of the season and look to be finishing strong in their debut campaign amongst Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1)-Hybrid cars.
The no. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard qualified third. They finished the session with a 1.045s gap behind their Porsche teammates.
The no. 7 Toyota of Alexander Wurz and Mike Conway (+1.114s) qualified in fourth position, while the R-18 e-tron Quattro no. 2 car of Audi Sport Team Joest’s Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler (+2.454s) rounded out the top five.
The five leaders were all competing in the LMP1-H class.
Leading the LMP1-Lightweight challengers was Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost of Rebellion Racing. They drove their no. 13 R-One Toyota car to a best average time of 1:47.047.
In the LMP2 class, Olivier Pla and Roman Rusinov of G-Drive Racing claimed pole in their Ligier JS P2-Nissan. They had a best average lap of 1:50.236.
Meanwhile, Aston Martin Racing enjoyed a strong Qualifying today to take a clean sweep of pole positions in the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance (LMGTE) categories.
Driven by Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke, the no. 97 Vantage V8 clinched the leading starting spot amongst LMGTE Pro cars with a best average lap of 1:58.805.
In the LMGTE Am class, the no. 95 Vantage V8 of Kristian Poulsen and Nicki Thiim claimed pole with an average lap time of 1:59.589.
A massive grid of 27 cars will be battling it out Saturday in the Six Hours of Bahrain, which is a day-to-night race starting at 3pm that will be held under BIC’s complete state-of-the-art floodlighting system for the first time.
SCHMID TAKES VICTORY AS TEAM BAHRAIN CLAIM PODIUM IN GT3 CUP SILVER CLASS
Clemens Schmid raced to a fine victory in the season-opening race of the 2014/2015 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, taking place in support of the FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain.
Starting from pole, Schmid claimed his win with a narrow 0.931-second gap ahead of runner-up Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum. Defending champion Zaid Ashkanani was third 2.029s back.
Schmid, Ashkanani and Charlie Frijns were all competing in the Gold class.
In the Silver category, Sheikh Hasher was the top man while the Team Bahrain tandem of Mohammed Mattar and Raed Raffii joined him on the podium in second and third place, respectively.
The Bronze podium featured Wolfgang Triller, Mohammed Jawa and Rob Frijns.
Earlier in the day, Schmid topped the first Qualifying session with a best lap of 2:04.042.
He will also start race two from pole, scheduled Saturday for a 12.05pm start. He had a fastest lap of 2:03.786 in today’s second Qualifying.
CULLEN AND MOORE TAKE A VICTORY APIECE IN MRF CHALLENGE
Ryan Cullen and Struan Moore shared the honours today in the two races that kicked off round two in the 2014 MRF Challenge Formula 2,000 Series, taking place as part of the weekend’s events in the FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain.
Cullen won race one ahead of pole-sitter Raj Bharath of India who finished 1.595 seconds behind. Kyle Mitchell took the final podium step after completing the 12-lap sprint 4.285s from the victor.
“The car has been quick all weekend so I was confident for the race,” Cullen said. “Raj and I have been on the same pace all weekend so knew it would be close.
“He made a mistake which was enough for me to get past. I managed to pull away as well so am really happy with this win. This is also great for the championship so I look forward to the rest of the races.”
In race two, Moore narrowly clinched an unexpected victory ahead of Toby Sowery. Moore won with a 0.750s gap. Cullen came third 1.351s back.
“I had a poor start and dropped back,” said Moore, who gained the lead on lap seven. “I managed to get past Mitchell and Cullen into the hairpin and then past Bharath when he and Toby were battling.
“I had a good run on Toby and got him into turn one for the lead and then controlled the pace. I am chuffed as this was my first time in the car and first time at this circuit.
“The team is great so am really happy with this win.”
Two more races are scheduled for Saturday, starting at 9.15am and 11.15am.
FANS TO ENJOY PACKED OFF-TRACK PROGRAMME
Fans attending the FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain on Saturday will have plenty of exciting side-activities to enjoy one after the other.
These begin at 12.45pm with a Pit Walk for all ticket holders, for a chance to see the WEC cars and teams from up close.
During the Pit Walk and starting from 12.50pm, an Autograph Session will be held involving all of the WEC’s superstar drivers. The fan-favourites will sign memorabilia, sign memorabilia and pose for photographs for all those on hand.
During the Autograph Session, fans are asked to take selfies with their favourite drivers and post their pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #6HBahrain. Five lucky winners will be picked and they will enjoy an exclusive BIC-wide tour, visiting usually restricted locations.
That will be followed at 2pm by a breath-taking pre-race stunt show that will be performed by world-renowned Red Bull athletes Abdo Feghali and Jokke Sommer.
Feghali will put on a show of his drifting prowess while Sommer will be performing a wing-suit sky dive from 5,000 feet. This mind-blowing act will surely keep the fans on the edge of their seats up until the start of the Six Hours of Bahrain an hour later at 3pm.
Also happening at the start of the race will be a raffle draw for a chance to win the grand prize of a trip-for-two to France to attend the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Other attractive prizes will also be up for grabs, including 36 top-of-the-line electronic mobile devices such as the Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note.
In order to win a prize, ticket holders must be in their seats along BIC’s Main Grandstand during the draw. BIC officials will conduct the draw on site and locate the prize winners at the same time. Anyone whose ticket number is drawn but is not in their seat at the time they are called will miss out on the opportunity to go home a winner.
The day’s off-track entertainment will then culminate with a post-race concert featuring popular Egyptian singer Tamer Hosny, starting from 9pm.
All those with tickets will be able to access the concert venue free of charge.
Hosny’s live show will take place at BIC’s Main Stage along the circuit’s vending area behind the Main Grandstand.
Aside from these activities, BIC has lined up plenty of off-track entertainment for the whole family throughout the day.
There will be a novelty show for kids, which will include singing and dancing and lots of audience participation. A group of performers will be showcasing all-time favourites such as Cinderella, Animal Crackers Party Time and Dazzling Disney Show.
There will also be several roaming acts engaging personally with fans. Such performers include the Freaks Acrobatic Show with their breathtaking gymnastics stunts and awe-inspiring acrobatic moves, Les Dudes who will be putting on their very own act of high energy circus tricks coupled with funny comedy, and the Voodoo Unicycles team who will be putting on an extreme unicycling display.
To add to that, there will also be the Joker Stilt Walkers who are a unique, playful and colourful bunch who have been BIC regulars on major occasions in the past.
BIC has also set aside an exclusive play area mainly for children. This location features a wide variety of activities and rides, including a whale carousel, miniature train ride, bouncy castle, a soft play area, a human gyro, face painting and spray tattoos, and a toy station.
All this plus so much more awaits race-goers of all ages at the FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain.
Tickets to the Six Hours of Bahrain can be purchased at BIC’s Welcome Centre located at thfffe circuit entrance. They are also being sold at the BIC sales outlet at Bahrain City Centre located on the ground level near gate number three, online from BIC’s official website www.bahraingp.com, and through the BIC Hotline on telephone +973-17-450000.
Tickets are BD20 each for adults and BD10 for children aged 12 years old and younger. Toddlers aged up to three years old will be able to attend with their families for free.
Tickets can be purchased at the BIC Welcome Centre located at the BIC entrance in Sakhir. They can also be bought from the BIC stand in Bahrain City Centre, now and don’t miss out on this fantastic raffle at one of the most spectacular events of the year at BIC.
For more information on the Six Hours of Bahrain or other activities at the circuit, visit bahraingp.com or call +973-17-450000. Also, find BIC on Facebook (facebook.com/OfficialBahrainInternationalCircuit), follow BIC on Twitter (@BAH_Int_Circuit) and Instagram (instagram.com/bah_int_circuit), and subscribe to BIC’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/bahrainbic) for regular updates on all happenings at the world-class Sakhir circuit.
TIME CHAMPIONSHIP SESSION
9.15am MRF Challenge Race 3
11.15am MRF Challenge Race 4
12.05pm Porsche GT3 Cup Race 2
12.45pm FIA WEC Pit Walk
12.50pm FIA WEC Autograph Session
2pm Stunt Show Drift and Wing-suit Stunt
2.10pm FIA WEC Grid Walk opening
2.45pm FIA WEC Grid Walk gate closing
2.51pm FIA WEC Grid Walk end of track evacuation
2.56pm FIA WEC Green Flag
3pm FIA WEC SIX HOURS OF BAHRAIN
9pm Off-Track Entertainment Tamer Hosny Concert
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