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Toyota eases to 8 Hours of Bahrain victory

Mat Coch

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Sunday 15th December, 2019 - 12:34pm

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pic: Toyota Motorsport Facebook

Toyota has eased to a one-two result in the 8 Hours of Bahrain in the fourth round of the World Endurance Championship.

The Japanese marque’s #7 entry claimed the race by a lap after avoiding opening lap carnage, while its second car race back through the field following early contact.

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and Jose Maria Lopez avoided a clash between Bruno Senna (Rebellion R-13) and Charlie Robertson (Ginetta) shortly after the start to snag their second win in four races this campaign.

Sebastien Buemi found himself mixed up in the early drama and initially dropped back in the #8 Toyota T050 Hybrid, and later was forced to change bodywork.

Together with Brendon Hartley, and Kazuki Nakajima, the trio were able to recover to the second podium place, albeit a lap down on their team-mates.

Senna, Norman Nato, and Gustavo Menezes rounded out the podium despite the early contact and a subsequent gear selection problem which saw them home three laps adrift.

The Ginetta of Robertson, Ben Hanley, and Jordan King rolled to a halt just after half distance, while the second Ginetta was forced out in the final quarter of the race.

Fourth place on the road and first in LMP2 class was the Oreca 07 entry of Philip Hanson, Paul di Resta, and Filipe Albuquerque for United Autosports.

Aston Martin claimed LMGTE Pro honours thanks to Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim, while Ben Keating, Larry ten Voorde, and Jeroen Bleekemolen were the first of the LMGTE Am runners home for Porsche.

Matt Campbell, the only Australian in the race, finished 24th overall with and sixth in class Christian Ried and Riccardo Pera.

The WEC now moves on to the Lone Star Le Mans, a six hour event at the Circuit of the Americas, in February.

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