GTE drivers’ title set for Bahrain showdown

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The bat­tle to be crowned the first ever FIA World Endurance Cham­pi­on for GT Dri­vers reach­es an excit­ing cli­max on Sat­ur­day, with four dri­ver pair­ings still in with a math­e­mat­i­cal chance of lift­ing the inau­gur­al FIA cham­pi­onship.

AF Corse dri­vers James Cal­a­do and Alessan­dro Per Gui­di hold the advan­tage at the head of the cham­pi­onship bat­tle, but lead the Porsche pair­ing of Richard Lietz and Fred Makowiec­ki by just two points going into the final round. Back in third posi­tion, just sev­en-and-a-half points back on Lietz and Makowiec­ki are Ford dri­vers Andy Pri­aulx and Har­ry Tinck­nell, who lost their cham­pi­onship lead due to a 13th-place fin­ish at Fuji two rounds ago.

With the gaps between the teams so tight, the lead­ing three dri­ver pair­ings the­o­ret­i­cal­ly have every­thing in their own hands when it comes to Saturday’s six-hour show­down. “We need to go to Bahrain and win,” Tinck­nell said. “There are 7.5 points between us and the Fer­rari dri­vers and you get 25 for a win, 18 for sec­ond and a point for pole. If we get pole posi­tion and the win we’ll be world cham­pi­ons.”

Indeed, the sin­gle point award­ed for qual­i­fy­ing could be absolute­ly cru­cial come Sat­ur­day evening: If Fer­rari, Porsche or Aston Mar­tin deny Ford the pole posi­tion, #67 Ford would need to win and hope that the #51 Fer­rari fin­ish­es low­er than sec­ond. If dri­vers from dif­fer­ent teams were to fin­ish on equal points, Cal­a­do and Per Gui­di would hold a deci­sive advan­tage in that they have already record­ed three wins this sea­son com­pared to none for Lietz/Makowiecki and two for Tincknell/Priaulx and so would take the title on count-back.

Qual­i­fy­ing begins at 2pm UK time / 3pm Euro­pean time on Fri­day and the green flag for the race is set to fly at 1pm UK time / 2pm Euro­pean time.

Click here for a full list of GT dri­vers’ cham­pi­onship stand­ings.

Source: Ford Bahrain Pre­view