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TANDY: Bahrain Debrief

Nick Tandy files his last Sportscar365 column of the year in Porsche’s final LMP1 race…

Photo: Porsche

The season has come to an end and we finish as World Champions so the task we set out to do at the start of the season has been accomplished.

Looking back at Bahrain, it would have been great to go out, in the last race with the 919, with a victory, but in the end it wasn’t to be.

I was really pleased we could qualify the car on pole position for its last race, so that was something I was proud to achieve with the team.

We led many hours and a lot of laps throughout the year but in the end, on our side of the garage, we didn’t come out with a first-place trophy.

It’s explained at the start of the season that our job is to maximize points for Porsche and we did our jobs by winning both championships so we can look at this season as a huge success.

It will be a great year to look back on and I’m proud to have been able to be part of the success story with the 919 Hybrid.

Come the finish of the race, a lot of the people in the team were quite emotional.

A lot of them have been in the program for a few more years than I have, living the life around this machine that we’ve taken racing at Le Mans every year.

Now it’s come to an end, and of course, people’s lives will change. But Porsche is not stopping racing and everybody will move on next year.

It’s sad that we look back on what’s been and gone but it doesn’t take long to focus and look forward to what’s coming in the future.

We had a good battle with Toyota for a long time at Bahrain. We thought we might be behind on the double-stint pace and it became clearer a couple of hours into the race.

We started thinking about how we could roll the dice on strategy and things like that and we opted to triple stint a set of tires in the middle of the race.

It looked like it could have worked out well but in the end we had some contact with another car which took us out of the fight.

Looking back at it now, we would have really had to have had something happen to be able to fight the No. 8 car. It’s been a great season fighting with Toyota and to appreciate great success, you need to have great competition.

I’m pleased I was able to take part in this great era of LMP1 that’s been over the last four years since Porsche joined in with Audi and Toyota.

It makes that success that we achieved against them that much better because they were strong teams and strong cars on track.

Porsche is still committed to sports car racing and Le Mans.

They’re still part of the way the sport is going to be shaped in the future so let’s see how the cars evolve, as always, over the years.

The cars evolve, the sport evolves, and I’ll be interested to see where the next manufacturer battle is and how the next battles at Le Mans play themselves out.

Nick Tandy (@NickTandyR) is the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner and Porsche LMP1 factory driver, driving for the German manufacturer in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

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