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Conway Leads Opening Hour; Alpine Hits Trouble in Bahrain

Mike Conway leads from Sebastien Buemi in frantic opening hour in Bahrain…

Photo: WEC

The No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Mike Conway leads the 8 Hours of Bahrain with one hour completed, with issues already striking the Hypercar class-contending Alpine A480 Gibson.

Conway holds a 7.443-second lead over teammate Sebastien Buemi following the first round of pit stops in the FIA World Endurance Championship season finale.

It came after a two-tire change for the No. 7 compared to four fresh Michelins to the No. 8 Toyota.

A strong start by the Signatech-run Alpine saw Nico Lapierre jump out into an early lead until getting passed by Conway on Lap 8 before dropping to third moments later.

Lapierre then began to slow on track with suspected gearbox issues resulting in the car being taken to the garage. It has since returned to action, three laps behind.

The No. 29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca 07 Gibson of Guido van der Garde leads LMP2 after an aggressive start by the Dutchman, who jumped into an early lead.

A fuel-only first stop for the No. 22 United Autosports entry of Phil Hanson sees it running second in class, ahead of the No. 70 Realteam Racing Oreca of Loic Duval.

James Calado led GTE-Pro after a late lunge around the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Kevin Estre after a hard-fought opening hour battle between the Porsche and the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

Calado briefly took the class lead earlier in the hour until the Englishman was ordered by race control to relinquish the position as the pass was deemed to have been made outside of track limits.

A drive-through penalty for contact with the No. 47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari has forced the No. 777 D’station Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Tomonobu Fujii to relinquish the class lead back to class pole-sitter Roberto Lacorte.

An opening lap clash between the No. 98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana and class title contender Ben Keating in the No. 33 TF Sport Aston saw both cars with punctures and drop out of contention.

The No. 86 GR Racing Porsche dashed to the pits after contact with the wall.

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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