It’s do or die for New Zealander Brendon Hartley and teammates Sébastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawain in the World Endurance Championship finale tomorrow, the trio needing to finish higher than the #36 Alpine to win the 2022 title.
The weekend has got underway perfectly, Hartley qualifying the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hybrid on pole for the 8 Hours of Bahrain with a massive lap .8 of a second faster than the nearest competitor.
Pole position gives the team one bonus point, meaning they enter the race leading the championship by that sole point after five rounds of racing. They had been tied on points with the Alpine entering the event, creating a winner-take-all scenario.
Peugeot continued their run of improving form, Paul di Resta qualifying the #93 on the front row.
The #7 Toyota will start on the second row alongside the #94 Peugeot, the two cars providing space between the championship leaders and their nearest contenders with the Alpine only managing fifth.
Whilst a nice bonus starting at the front, the race itself is 8 hours long giving plenty of opportunity for a lot to happen.
It’s a step in the right direction for Hartley, however, and shows Toyota Gazoo Racing are the team to beat this weekend.
The team of fellow New Zealander Nick Cassidy, competing in LMGTE Am, will start 10th in class, the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo with plenty to do come race time.
Racing gets underway at midnight tonight and finishes at 8am tomorrow morning. The entire event will be shown live on Sky Sport Pop Up 1 (600).
Header Image: WEC Magazin