Though Porsche wanted a win in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship finale to send off their LMP1 program on a high note, it was Toyota taking the victory at the 6 Hours of Bahrain.
The No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid machine of Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi took their fifth win of the year, and third win in a row, by driving a mostly clean race from start to finish, something the other LMP1 class cars couldn’t manage in the final race of the year.
The only incident marring the race-winning team over the six-hour enduro was a broken toe for driver Anthony Davidson after the Brit kicked a door while running to get into the car for another stint.
Second and third place went to Porsche in the German carmakers’ final race in the LMP1 class.
The championship-winning No. 2 car of Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber finished second after an unscheduled pitstop to fix a bollard stuck in their 919 Hybrid’s bodywork eliminated their hopes of winning.
The remaining LMP1 hybrids both suffered contact with GT cars during the race, dropping them out of contention for the win.
The pole-sitting No. 1 919 of Nick Tandy, Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer recovered from contact with the No. 86 Gulf Racing Porsche car to finish third.
Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway came fourth after contact with the No. 92 GTE Pro Porsche and subsequent penalty.
In GTE Pro, AF Corse Ferrari backed up their manufacturer title clinched at the prior race with the drivers’ championship crowns for James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi.
Calado and Pier Guidi in the No. 51 Ferrari 488 finished second in the race after handing the victory over to teammates Sam Bird and Davide Rigon in the sister No. 71 car.
The second place finish was still enough for the No. 51 pair to clinch the title over Porsche’s Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz, who finished fourth in the race.
Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx had a shot at the championship, but their third-place finish in the race wasn’t enough to take the crown or to jump the Porsche pair.
“It looked like we could be in with a chance at the beginning but we just didn’t have an answer for the Ferraris today,” Priaulx said.
“We had good tyre degradation but we just didn’t have enough speed.
“Having said that I’ve had a great race. I really enjoyed my three stints and managed to make some good passes.
“We’ve had a brilliant season: two wins, second at Le Mans and fought to the very end of the championship.”