Japan – Titles on the line for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is prepared for a title showdown in the 8 Hours of Bahrain this weekend, when the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) reaches an exciting climax.
After five races of a hard-fought season so far, the battle for Hypercar manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles is still open going into the final round at Bahrain International Circuit.
The drivers’ standings could not be closer. This year’s Le Mans winners Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa, driving the #8 GR010 HYBRID, are tied on points with their rivals in the #36 Alpine, meaning the title will go to the crew which finishes highest on Saturday.
Reigning World Champions Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez, in the #7 GR010 HYBRID, retain a mathematical chance of their third consecutive title. They are 26 points behind, with 39 points still to be won in Bahrain, and can take the crown if their competitors fail to finish.
In the manufacturers’ standings, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is within touching distance of winning the title for a fourth consecutive season. With a 26-point lead after five rounds, another World Championship is guaranteed if at least one of the two GR010 HYBRIDs reaches the chequered flag.
But, following a one-two on home ground at Fuji Speedway in the previous round, the team has bigger ambitions in Bahrain, where it has won seven of the 10 WEC rounds, and it targets a sixth consecutive victory at the 5.412km circuit.
The 8 Hours of Bahrain brings the curtain down on TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s 10th season in WEC and will be the team’s 76th race since its 2012 debut. Victory on Saturday would be the team’s 39th and would secure its fifth manufacturers’ and drivers’ World Championship double.
Practice in Bahrain begins on Thursday with two 90-minute practice sessions, the first taking place at lunchtime and the second beginning just after sunset, to allow teams to prepare for the day-night race. Following a one-hour final practice on Friday morning, qualifying is held over 10 minutes in the evening and the race begins on Saturday at 2pm local time (midday CET).
For more information, visit https://toyotagazooracing.com/wec/release/2022/rd06-preview/.
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