Aston Martin Racing has claimed its second GTE-Pro class victory of the FIA World Endurance Championship season, in a hard-fought 8 Hours of Bahrain.
Marco Sorensen took the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE to a 13.798-second win over the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE of Miguel Molina, who was forced to serve a late-race penalty.
A quicker final stop for the Prodrive-run squad put the Dane out front of Molina in the final hour, following a race-long battle between the two manufacturers that went into the closing stages.
Molina’s hopes of a victory, however, were dashed when the Spaniard served a drive-through penalty with 31 minutes left on the clock for wheel spin during his final scheduled stop.
It handed a clear win to Sorensen and co-driver Nicki Thiim, who have taken over the lead of the GTE Drivers’ World Championship as a result.
The No. 71 Ferrari of Molina and Davide Rigon denied an Aston Martin 1-2 finish, with Maxime Martin completing the class podium in the No. 97 entry alongside co-driver Alex Lynn.
A move by James Calado on the outside of Martin following the restart from the race’s second Full Course Yellow in the final hour resulted in the AF Corse driver ordered to give back to the position with 20 minutes to go.
Calado’s pass was deemed to have been outside of track limits.
The Brit and Alessandro Pier Guidi, as a result, finished fourth in class, ahead of the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz, who lost ground in the fourth hour with a right-rear puncture and trip to the garage.
The No. 92 Porsche, which entered the weekend as championship leaders, dropped out of contention with a left-rear damper failure just minutes before Bruni’s tire-related issue.
Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen finished sixth in class but seventh in the GTE classification in the race, which paid 1.5x points.
Keating, Bleekemolen, Ten Voorde Break Through in GTE-Am
Team Project 1 claimed a dominant class victory in GTE-Am, with American Ben Keating earning his first career WEC win.
Keating, who controlled the race from the start, shared top honors with longtime co-driver Jeroen Bleekemolen and Dutchman Larry ten Voorde.
Ten Voorde finished more than 30 seconds clear of the No. 98 Aston Martin of Ross Gunn, Paul Dalla Lana and Darren Turner in second.
Gulf Racing, meanwhile, scored its first class podium of the season with a consistent third-placed run.
Keating and Project 1 teammate Egidio Perfetti ran 1-2 early until exhaust issues struck the No. 56 Porsche in the second hour.
Class championship leaders TF Sport, which was seeking a third consecutive win, was one of two retirements in GTE-Am, with the No. 90 Aston Martin dropping out with fuel starvation issues with two hours to go.
RESULTS: 8H Bahrain