***Audi’s woes continued on Friday when its No. 1 car was found to have sustained monocoque damage, less than 24 hours after being re-tubbed. Remarkably, the German manufacturer has a total of five chassis on-site at Bahrain, between the three damaged R18 e-tron quattros and the two cars that will race in tomorrow’s six-hour enduro.
***Porsche has yet to confirm its return to the FIA WEC with a factory GTE-Pro program next year, although it’s the German manufacturer’s intention to be represented in the class, according to Head of Motorsport, Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser. “We have some options we’re checking for WEC,” he told Sportscar365.
***Walliser said they have some “interesting options” for factory drivers in 2015, not denying the possibility of a few additions. Could Earl Bamber be one of them? “Definitely, Earl did a great job this season,” Walliser said. “It’s really astonishing how he managed everything in an extremely competitive surroundings.” Walliser expects Porsche’s works GT drivers to be announced during its end-of-year dinner in mid-December.
***The pace of the Porsche 919 Hybrids this weekend could be down to past experience in Bahrain, as the team spent no fewer than six test days here early in the year. “It obviously gave us good preparation for coming here,” Brendon Hartley told Sportscar365. “The previous tracks, we had no data at all, so the first day was always a very big learning curve. This weekend we’ve been really prepared.”
***There’s often talk about tech transfer from the track to the street and Toyota has proven that, as its new Prius will feature parts developed from the TS040 Hybrid. Toyota Racing President Yoshiaki Kinoshita would not reveal any further details, although it’s understood it could be a semiconductor from the gasolone-powered hybrid prototype.
***The No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage is running with solar panels on its roof for the fourth consecutive race, although the system, developed by Hanergy Global Solar, have yet to be fully activated and is currently being used for measuring purposes. The team hopes to homologate it to power the in-car air conditioning system for 2015.
***While Mark Patterson is retiring from his day job in private investments at the end of the year, the South African-born, New York-based driver told Sportscar365 he isn’t completely hanging up the helmet following Saturday’s Six Hours of Bahrain. Patterson, 62, said he hopes to compete in select races next year, although unlikely to commit to a full-season program.
***Andy Blackmore’s NISMO Spotter Guide for the Six Hours of Bahrain is available for download. The updated version includes some late changes, including the No. 61 and 90 Ferrari swap and revised liveries for the pair of Rebellion R-One Toyotas.