Andy Priaulx in Bahrain for final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship – 18th November – 6 Hours of Bahrain

For Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell their bid to win the GT FIA Endurance Drivers’ Championship has come down to the wire in the final race of the year. The British duo will be taking on the best in GT racing when they compete at the Bahrain International Circuit for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team in the ninth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The task ahead is not being underestimated by Andy, as he explained what they have to do to secure the title: “It is the last race of the year, we are seven and a half points off the lead of the championship, so basically if everyone finishes we need to win the race and put our Ford GT on pole. It is a tall ask but possible.” For him this is not a new experience as he explains: “In the days when I was racing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship I have gone to races on the back foot and come away as the champion. I learnt then that you have to be positive and this is how I am approaching the coming weekend.”

After two years with the team, the Guernsey driver has lots of confidence in what they can achieve: “I am very positive we should be reasonably competitive in Bahrain. It is a tough track and it is going to be a tough race. I am expecting this to come down to the final stint of the race. Hopefully we will be in good shape. We need to make the best of everything possible, and we need to have another repeat of Shanghai where we had a perfect execution with what both Harry and I did with the driving and the team did with the stops. The pressure is on. The team has reacted very well under pressure over the last races and we could not have a better team round us. I have had a great year and am looking forward to ending it on a high. ”

The desert circuit at Sakhir can have an abrasive surface due to the sand, so Andy also knows that the tyres will be crucial there: “We had a test in Bahrain, so hopefully that will give us a good knowledge of the circuit and tyre degradation. Obviously making four and a half sets of tyres survive a six hour race is never easy, so it is about tyre degradation, management and putting in the very best performances in the periods where these races are crucial, which includes pit stops and in and out laps.”

The track has hosted 13 Grands Prix and is 5.412 kilometres long. The race will start just before dusk and finish in the dark and at this time of the year the ambient temperatures could be in the high twenties or low thirties Celsius. As in this part of the world Sunday is a work day, the race is held on a Saturday and the first track action will be on Thursday, 16th November with Free Practice 1 from 15.00 to 16.30, while Free Practice 2 is later in the day from 19.30 to 21.00. On Friday Free Practice 3 is from 11.20 to 12.20 and Qualifying for the LMGTE cars is from 17.00 to 17.20. The six-hour race on Saturday is from 16.00 to 22.00. All these times are local, which is three hours ahead of GMT.

2017 FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR

16th April ­ 6 Hours of Silverstone – GBR
6th May ­ WEC 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps ­ BEL
17th/18th June ­ Le Mans 24 Hours ­ FRA
16th July – 6 Hours of Nürburgring ­DEU
3rd September ­ 6 Hours of Mexico City ­ MEX
16th September ­ 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas ­ USA
15th October ­ 6 Hours of Fuji ­ JAP
5th November ­ 6 Hours of Shanghai ­ CHN
18th November ­ 6 Hours of Bahrain – BHR

For further images
https://www.flickr.com/photos/fordchipganassiracing/albums

The schedule for the ‘new look, strengthened’ FIA WEC Championship is

2018/19
• 5 & 6 April: The Prologue, Circuit Paul Ricard (FRA)
• 4 & 5 May: WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
• 16 & 17 June: 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA)
• 13 & 14 October: 6 Hours of Fuji (JPN)
• 03 & 04 November: 6 Hours of Shanghai (CHN)
• February 2019: Place and event TBC
• 15 & 16 March 2019: 12 Hours of Sebring (USA)
• 3 & 4 May 2019 WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
• 15 &16 June 2019: 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA)

Cazenove Capital Management BRDC Stilo Helmets