Battle for GT world titles heats up

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The Six Hours of the Cir­cuit of the Amer­i­c­as proved to be yet anoth­er turn­ing point in the fight for hon­ours in the inau­gur­al FIA World Endurance Cham­pi­onships for GT Dri­vers and GT Man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Ford Chip Ganas­si Team UK dri­vers Andy Pri­aulx and Har­ry Tinck­nell lead the FIA World Endurance Cham­pi­onship for GT Dri­vers on 102 points, but their ear­ly-sea­son lead – cement­ed by a sec­ond posi­tion at the dou­ble-points round at Le Mans – has shrunk to just six points with three rounds of the sea­son remain­ing.

The two Brits are close­ly fol­lowed by the con­sis­tent but so far win­less #91 Porsche GT Team pair­ing of Richard Lietz, GT dri­vers’ cham­pi­on in 2015, and Fred Makowiec­ki on 96 points, who have scored four podi­ums so far this sea­son. Just half a point behind is AF Corse dri­ver Davide Rigon, who in turn is half a point ahead of his reg­u­lar team­mate Sam Bird – the half-point advan­tage being attrib­uted to Bird miss­ing the Nür­burg­ing round to com­pete in For­mu­la E and thus miss­ing out on Rigon’s half-point for 11th posi­tion in GTE.

Lev­el on 95 points with Bird are fel­low AF Corse dri­vers James Cal­a­do and Alessan­dro Per Gui­di, who have scored the most wins – two – in GTE so far this sea­son, as well as two sec­ond places. Cal­a­do and Per Guidi’s posi­tion in joint fifth posi­tion owes to the pair’s cost­ly 14th place fin­ish at Le Mans, after the #51 Fer­rari 488 Italia spent a lengthy peri­od in the pits to repair front-end dam­age.

The on-track bat­tles will con­tin­ue as we move onto the final three rounds of the FIA WEC in Fuji (15 Octo­ber), Shang­hai (5 Novem­ber) and Bahrain (18 Novem­ber), with each cir­cuit play­ing to the var­i­ous dif­fer­ent strengths of the GTE Pro machin­ery. Last sea­son saw cur­rent cham­pi­onship lead­ers Andy Pri­aulx and Har­ry Tinck­nell take the wins at both Fuji and Shang­hai, and a repeat per­for­mance may see the GTE Pro dri­vers’ title head­ing to British dri­vers for the first time.

The bat­tle for man­u­fac­tur­er hon­ours is a lit­tle more clear-cut, with Fer­rari hold­ing a 40-point lead over Ford, which in turn holds a slen­der one-point advan­tage over the Aston Mar­tin squad. Porsche are just 11 points fur­ther back in fourth posi­tion, and so any­thing is pos­si­ble over the remain­ing three rounds. With BMW com­ing to the fold next sea­son, the GTE Pro cat­e­go­ry looks to be going from strength to strength!

A full list of the cur­rent stand­ings can be found here.

Images © WEC-Mag­a­zin