Bahrain: Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain set for 33-car grid at BIC’s Bahrain Motorsport Festival
BIC, Sakhir – A packed grid of 33 cars is set to line up at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) for this year’s FIA WEC Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain.
The highly anticipated endurance event is scheduled to be held on the weekend of November 17 to 19, as a part of the first-ever Bahrain Motorsport Festival.
The Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain will mark the ninth and final round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). BIC partner Bapco is the title sponsor of the event for the second year running.
A provisional list of 33 entrants has been made available by the WEC ahead of the race. The field is divided into four different competition categories. These include the Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) class, the LMP2, the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance Pro (LMGTE Pro) and LMGTE Amateur (LMGTE Am).
Eight LMP1 cars will be in the fray, including two each for defending constructors’ champions Porsche Team, Toyota Gazoo Racing and Audi Sport Team Joest. There will also be a car apiece from Bykolles Racing Team and Rebellion Racing.
The LMP2 field is made up of 12 cars, with three representing SMP Racing and two each for Extreme Speed Motorsports and Manor. The rest represent G-Drive Racing, Baxi DC Racing Alpine, Signatech Alpine, Strakka Racing and RGR Sport by Morand.
The LMGTE Pro class will be made up of seven cars. AF Corse, Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK and Aston Martin Racing each have a pair of entrants, with Dempsey-Proton Racing completing the list.
The LMGTE Am category will include another six challengers. These represent Labre Competition, KCMG, Gulf Racing, Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing, AF Corse and Aston Martin Racing.
Prior to the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain, the WEC will be heading to China for the 6 Hours of Shanghai, scheduled to take place on Sunday (Editor’s note: November 6). That will be the eighth and penultimate round of the 2016 season.
The WEC last raced in Oyama, Japan in the 6 Hours of Fuji, where the Toyota Gazoo trio of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Stephane Sarrazin claimed an impressive victory in their home race.
Following Fuji and heading into Shanghai, the trio of Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and Romain Dumas lead the drivers’ championship standings while their team, Porsche, sit atop the World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship,
Bahrain is the WEC’s exclusive destination in the Middle East. It gives race fans a special taste of the spirit of the legendary 24 Heures du Mans, which is widely accepted to be the world’s biggest and most challenging race while also being the blue riband event of the annual WEC calendar.
Many of the world’s most prestigious brands in motoring will be represented in Sakhir, while several ex-Formula 1 stars will also be behind the wheel competing.
This year’s Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain is the fifth edition of the WEC race. The race’s start time has been changed for this year; it has been moved one hour later to 4pm, with the chequered flag scheduled to come down at 10pm.
The Bahrain Motorsport Festival is a first-of-its-kind event at BIC, “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”. Aside from the WEC, the weekend will also have racing in the CIK-FIA Karting World Championship and CIK-FIA Karting Junior World Championship.
There will also be supporting races from Bahrain-bred one-make series the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East and India-based single-seater series the MRF Challenge. Furthermore, there will be plenty of entertainment off the track with the Action-Ha programme, which will include three major international and regional artists.
Tickets to the festival are now available. They cost BD20 apiece for all three days of racing and entertainment. Children aged 12 years old and younger can get in for free.