The FIA World Endurance Championship double-header in Bahrain could prove decisive towards the title chase in LMGTE Pro and Am classes thanks to the points available in both the 6-Hour and 8-Hour races.
BoP. Ferrari arrive at the event currently topping the tables after extraordinary wins in both classes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but will be forced to adopt a defensive strategy following the announcement of new Balance of Performance parameters that overrules the automatic BoP.
LMGTE Pro. This notwithstanding, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado will have to adopt a strategy aimed at minimising the power deficit on a track where 64.5% of the lap is taken at full throttle. “I like to win and lose races on the track, but this decision - while legitimate - seems a very questionable one to me,” stated Pier Guidi. "We are not in a position to fight to defend our leadership so I don't think that it is very fair. However, we are not the type who gives up easily, so we will try our hardest to win the titles”. Pier Guidi and Calado, who were crowned world champions together with Ferrari at this same venue in 2017, lead the standings on 124 points with a 12-point advantage over the Estre-Jani pairing. Miguel Molina and Daniel Serra will be back on track aboard the no.52 488 GTE. "I am pleased to be back driving my Ferrari after a long break," said Serra, "given that the last race I competed in was the 24 Hours of Le Mans”.
LMGTE Am. François Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Alessio Rovera’s win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans allowed the crew to accrue a 36.5-point advantage over the Keating-Pereira-Fraga trio in the category also set to feature the gentleman drivers. The season has been a very positive one so for AF Corse's no. 83 car as evidenced by their three wins out of four races. The only time the reigning champions failed to make it onto the podium was at the 8 Hours of Portimão, won on that occasion by the Cetilar Racing-run 488 GTE driven by Lacorte-Sernagiotto-Fuoco. The Italian crew, third in the standings in their first year in the LMGTE Am category, will once again line up, as will the second no. 54 AF Corse-fielded car crewed by Flohr-Fisichella-Castellacci, hot on the heels of Cetilar Racing in the standings. After having performed well in Portugal, the Kessel Racing car featuring Kimura-Jensen-Andrews also makes a return to the world championship. Also competing will be Iron Lynx, who will tackle the 5,412-metre Sakhir track with two 488 GTEs driven by the 'Iron Dames' Frey-Bovy-Legge and the Mastronardi-Piccini-Cressoni trio.
Schedule. On Thursday afternoon, 15:30 local time, the first non-timed practice session is due to take place, while the second and third sessions will be held on Friday, at 08:30 and 12:45. Qualifying for the LMGTE class cars is scheduled for the afternoon at 16:40. On Sunday, the race itself gets underway at 11:00 and is set to conclude at 17:00.