Porsche vs Ferrari for the final fight in LMGTE Pro
And so, the time has come, it’s time to take the final start lights…
After a history as long as the WEC itself, it’s time for the final outing for the LMGTE Pro category in the FIA World Endurance Championship at the 2022 season-concluding Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain.
Don’t expect the class which has offered so much excitement over the years to quietly leave the room, as it’s Ferrari heading Porsche for the final outing, with both marques able to win the title, plus there’s a Corvette which could take race glory too.
In the GT Manufacturers FIA World Endurance Championship, it’s just one point in it, with 216 points to Ferrari and 215 to Porsche, with 75 for Chevrolet.
For the GT FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship, the AF Corse #51 line-up of reigning champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi are in the plum position heading into the race, with 120 points on the board. Eleven points adrift it’s the #92 Porsche 911 RSR – 19 pairing of Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen. Gianmaria Bruni is also right tin the mix, with 106 points on the board in the #91 Porsche.
The title leaders indeed come into the final event as favourites. They put in a dominant performance last time out at Fuji and they have previously taken the title twice – in 2017 and 2021.
Last year it was Ferrari that took the title after a ding-dong battle right up to, and beyond the chequered flag. For the title to go the way of the #52 red car, it needs to finish the race in at least second place if the #92 takes the win. Pier Guidi and Calado became the season’s first double-winners after victory last time out in Fuji so momentum is with the leaders. Crucially, if they place pole they can finish in second place in the race and still take the title.
Porsche’s Michael Christensen has participated in 49 Pro races, with the 2022 season finale his 50th.
AF Corse were the only team to participate in every WEC GTE Pro race. Both Ferrari and Porsche cars featured in every GTE Pro race. #51 is the only number to appear in every GTE Pro race.
All nine GTE Pro champions are present at its final race, with five of them – James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi, Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre and Gianmaria Bruni still in title contention.
AF Corse #51, Porsche #92, Porsche #91 and AF Corse #52 are all still eligible
AF Corse #51 leads most scenarios on countback, having won more races than its rivals
AF Corse #51 / Calado/Pier Guidi / 120 points
It finishes 2nd and 91 wins
It finishes 3rd or 4th and neither Porsche wins
It takes pole, finishes 5th and 92 finishes 2nd or lower
It finishes 5th, neither Porsche wins, but 91 finishes ahead of 92
It takes pole and finishes 2nd
Porsche #92 / Estre/Christensen / 109 points
It takes pole position and wins
It finishes 2nd, 51 finishes 5th, and 91 does not win
It finishes 3rd, and both 51 and 91 fail to finish
Porsche #91 / Bruni / 106 points
It wins, and 51 finishes 3rd or lower having not taken pole
It finishes 2nd, 92 does not win, and 51 fails to finish
It takes pole, finishes 2nd, finishes ahead of 92, and 51 fails to finish
AF Corse #52 / Molina/Fuoco / 93 points
It wins and 51, 92 and 91 all fail to finish
It takes pole position, finishes 2nd, and all of 51, 92 and 91 fail to finish
With thanks to 'Magic Alex' WECData for the stats and permutations