The 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans saw some championships wrapped up, but there are a number of others that will go down to the wire in Bahrain.
Manufacturers’ and teams’ championships in LMP1, LMP2 and GTE Pro were all decided at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Toyota Gazoo Racing comfortably won the LMP1 teams’ championship, as they were expected to do and despite the FIA WEC’s success ballast system.
In LMP2, a run of four-straight victories has handed the teams’ title to United Autosports, who now have an unassailable 46-point lead heading into the 8 Hours of Bahrain. The drivers’ title will also be heading United Autosports’ way, with Felipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson securing the championship at Le Mans, but teammate Paul di Resta missing out due to having missed the 6 Hours of Fuji last October.
It’s a similar story in GTE Pro, where Aston Martin cannot be mathematically caught on 304 points. They lead the second-placed Porsche GT team by 81 points with only a maximum of 66 points available in Bahrain for any one manufacturer.
Championships going down to the wire
In other drivers’ championships, it is all to play for going into the season finale in the Middle East. In the FIA World LMP Drivers’ Championship, Toyota drivers Brendon Hartley, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima hold a slim seven-point advantage over Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José-Maria López.
Porsche’s Le Mans nightmare has cost the Weissach-based manufacturer’s drivers any chance of glory in the FIA World GTE Drivers’ Championship. The title battle in GTE is now a Aston Martin-only affair, with Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim leading by 14 points ahead of Le Mans winners Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn.
Aston Martin drivers are in the box seat in GTE Am, too. TF Sport trio Charlie Eastwood, Salih Yoluc and Johnny Adam hold an eight-point lead over the #83 AF Corse crew of Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Niklas Nielsen. No other drivers have a mathematic chance of the title, so the 8 Hours of Bahrain will be a straight-up battle between the #90 and #83 cars. The standings in the GTE Am teams title are identical, so it there will be double celebration for one team and double disappointment for the other in the Gulf.
Images © WEC-Magazin (Walter Schruff / Ton Kerdijk)