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AF Corse Holds onto GTE-Pro Win; Bruni, Vilander Take Title

Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander take win, GT championship in Bahrain…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander clinched the 2014 GT Drivers’ World Cup with a GTE-Pro class win in Saturday’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain.

Vilander held off a hard-charging Darren Turner to give he, Bruni and AF Corse their fourth class victory of the season, following one of the most competitive battles in the production-based ranks this season.

Cars from Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche all led at stages throughout the day-into-night enduro, with the pair of F458 Italias making one less stop than the competition.

Vilander edged out Turner by just 1.879 seconds at the line, after the pole-sitting No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE recovered more than 15 seconds in the final 30 minutes.

It marked Bruni’s second consecutive drivers’ title and the first for his longtime co-driver, Vilander.

Ferrari, meanwhile, extended their lead in the GT Manufacturers’ Cup with a double podium finish, as James Calado and Davide Rigon finished third in the No. 71 entry.

Its title battle with Porsche will go down to the wire in Brazil, with 25 points now separating the two manufacturers.

The pair of Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSRs completed the top-five in class on Saturday, with the No. 91 car of Joerg Bergemeister and Richard Lietz finishing one lap ahead of the Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet-driven No. 92 entry.

Electrical issues dashed early hopes for the No. 99 Craft Bamboo-backed Aston Martin, which finished three laps behind in sixth.

RESULTS: Six Hours of Bahrain

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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