TOYOTA Gazoo Racing enjoyed spectacular success at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) last night with one of their teams winning the race and another being crowned 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Hypercar World Champions at the Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain season finale.
Toyota number 7 drivers, Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose-Maria Lopez edged past their sister team – and eventual world champions – number 8, featuring Sebastien Buemi, Ryo Hirakawa and Brendon Hartley, to win the sixth and final race of the 2022 season.
The 1-2 podium finish for both Toyota teams, both driving in GR010 Hybrids, sparked wild celebrations as soon as the race ended as it was announced that, along with winning the Hypercar drivers’ world championship, they had also won the manufacturers’ world title.
This was Toyota’s sixth straight WEC race win in Bahrain and eighth overall.
The Alpine Elf number 36 team, with Andre Negrao, Nicolas Lapieere and Matthieu Vaxiviere sharing driving duties, steered their A480-Gibson to third place.
Meanwhile, in the LMP2 class, the number 31 WRT team, with Robin Frijns, Sean Gelael and Rene Rast taking turns at the wheel of an Oreca 07-Gibson, beat United Autosports USA number 23 team to the finish line with RealTeam by WRT coming in third in their number 41 car.
And, in the LMGTE Pro category, AF Corse, with Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco driving a number 52 Ferrari GTE Evo won a stirring contest with Corvette Racing’s number 64 team. Porsche GT Team’s number 91 drivers finished in third place.
There was tough competition in the LMGTE Am as well before Team Project 1’s Mikkel Pederson, Matteo Cairoli and Nicolas Leutweiler drove their number 46 Porsche 911 RSR-19 to victory.
An all-female Iron Dames trio finished in second place with Team Project 1’s number 56 team not far behind.
Apart from the two Hypercar titles, eight other WEC championships were also sealed at the BIC.
James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, of AF Corse number 51, won the GT FIA World Endurance Driver’s Championship; Ferrari claimed the GT Manufacturers’ FIA World Endurance Championship in the LMGTE Pro class; the Jota number 38 team, with William Stevens, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez driving, clinched the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 drivers; The AF Corse number 83 team, featuring Alessio Rovera, Francois Perrodo and Nicklas Nielson, won the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2/Pro Am Drivers; the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams was claimed by Jota and the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Pro/Am Teams was claimed by AF Corse.
Finally, TF Sport number 33 drivers Ben Keating and Marco Sorenson won the FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE Am Drivers in the LMGTE Am class and the FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE Am Teams was won by TF Sport.