The Sakhir circuit hosts the last round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship, the 8 Hours of Bahrain, with four Ferrari 488 GTEs competing in the only class for LMGTE Am production-derived cars. Four of Maranello’s official drivers, Davide Rigon, Lilou Wadoux, Alessio Rovera and Daniel Serra, will take part in the Persian Gulf event, the last round to feature GTE configuration cars. The race will kick off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, 4 November (local time).
The cars. Returning from their victory at the 6 Hours of Fuji in September, Rigon, Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci, who share the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE number 54, start the race third in the Drivers’ standings on 73 points, six points off second place. Ahead of an event with 38 points up for grabs plus one for pole position, the trio are still in the running for second place overall.
Among the Prancing Horse car crews, Wadoux, Rovera and Louis-Perez Companc in the Richard Mille – AF Corse 488 GTE number 83 come to Bahrain in seventh position with 53 points. Highlights of the crew’s year include a win in April at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, and a runner-up spot at the previous round in Portimão.
The starting grid also includes the Ferrari 488 GTE number 21 of AF Corse, crewed by Franck Dezoteux, Simon Mann and Kei Cozzolino, and Kessel Racing’s number 57, with Takeshi Kimura, Esteban Masson and Daniel Serra. After missing the Japanese race, the latter is back at the wheel of the Swiss team’s car.
The track. The Bahrain International Circuit measures 5.412 kilometres and includes 15 turns. The circuit, which opened in 2004, has hosted a round of the FIA WEC endurance series since its inception in 2012. Over this time, Ferrari has claimed seven victories in the production-derived classes. Antonio Fuoco and Miguel Molina secured the last one in 2022 in LMGTE Pro with AF Corse’s 488 GTE.
The programme. The weekend kicks off on Thursday, 2 November, with the first two free practice sessions from 12.15 p.m. and 5.30 p.m., continuing on Friday, 3 with the third free practice session, from 12 p.m., and qualifying for the LMGTE Am class, from 4.15 p.m. The green flag for the 8 Hours of Bahrain is on Saturday at 2 p.m. (all times are local).