31-car grid set for FIA WEC Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain at BIC

Thursday, Dec 5th 2019, 10:09 am | Category: WEC

Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”, is set to welcome a grid of 31 cars for the first-ever FIA WEC Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain, taking place alongside this year’s BIC National Day Festival from December 13 to 16.

Both WEC and National Day will be open to the public from December 13, with WEC running for two days and the National Day celebrations offering four days of continuous entertainment, concluding on December 16.

The Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain will mark the fourth of eight rounds in the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

The gruelling eight-hour event makes it the second-longest race on the WEC calendar, behind only the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. Just as in previous seasons, there will be competition in four categories, including the Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1), LMP2, Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance (LMGTE) Pro and the LMGTE Amateur.

There are set to be five cars in the top-tier LMP1 class. Toyota Gazoo Racing will have their two Hybirds alongside the two Ginettas of Team LNT and the Rebellion of Rebellion Racing. Nine cars are in the LMP2 class including six Orecas, an Aurus, an Alpine and a Dallara.

The LMGTE Pro will see another six challengers including a pair each of Ferraris, Porsches and Aston Martins; while in the 11-car LMGTE Am field there will be four Ferraris, five Porsches and two Aston Martins.



The WEC family is looking forward to its return to Bahrain, which it describes as the home of endurance racing in the region.

Among those upbeat ahead of the race weekend is Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi, who was a former resident on the island several years ago.

The Toyota ace has an enviable record at the Middle Eastern venue having won on two occasions in 2013 and 2017. In 2013, he took victory in the Japanese manufacturer’s first full WEC season as he partnered with Stephane Sarrazin and Anthony Davidson. The last race in the Kingdom took place in November of 2017 and Buemi was again victorious. He took the silverware with Davidson again, as well as Kazuki Nakajima as the trio raced to vice-champion status in the final classification.

“It is an interesting track that definitely has some unique challenges,” explained Buemi, who used to live with his uncle and extended family for a time in Saar.

“Obviously there is the racing into darkness which I always find quite cool, but the track really tests the brakes which is a great challenge. It is also a place I know intimately because I lived here for a bit so I have some very good and strong memories of this country.”

He added: “Endurance racing is never easy, there are so many variables and different aspects to what we do. This is why we love it so much and why we always embrace the challenge of it.”




Motor racing fans attending the FIA WEC Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain will be able to enjoy an Open Paddock experience, offering a behind the scenes spectacle of the race experience. All racing will be open to the public on 13 and 14 December, with the race set to get underway at 3pm on the Saturday.

The day right after the FIA WEC Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain, an in-season “Rookie” test will also be held at BIC, which fans will be able to watch from the Main Grandstand.

Aside from the WEC, there will also be racing in racing in two highly popular support series: the MRF Challenge single-seater championship from India and the BIC-based Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East.

Off the race track, the entertainment throughout the four-day festival will be highlighted by nightly concerts featuring some of the region’s biggest names in music. They include star singers Balqees, Mohammed Al Salem, Essa Al Marzooq and Abdulla Al Rowaished.

There will also be the biggest fireworks display in the Kingdom of Bahrain, world-class performing artists from around the globe such as The Black Angels acrobats, Spark! LED Drummers and Stannage International Stunt Team, plus carnival rides for kids, traditional music, food stalls and a shopping bazaar.

Tickets are just BD1 per person per day and can be purchased online at BIC’s official website www.bahraingp.com, by calling the BIC Hotline on +973-17450000 or at the BIC stand at City Centre Bahrain. 

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