This last weekend I enjoyed watching Audi win the 6-hour of Bahrain race on the Bahrain International Circuit. The two Audi R18 e-tron quattro took and 2 in this 6th installment of the 2012 World Endurance Championship.
Thanks to Audi Middle East who treated all its regional business partners the event was more than just watching the race. All of us enjoyed the pit tours, curve visit which took us very very close to the action, riding the track in an Audi R8, RS 5 or TT RS, and live commentary in the Audi lounge (decorated by Tonic). All this was fantastic and flawlessly organised.
For those who wonder why anyone in their right mind would spend 6 hours watching cars go around in circle, you first need to take a look at the cars competing. In Audi’s LMP1 (Le Mans Prototype 1) category and the LMP2, the cars look like space ships. Audi R18 hybrid also sounded like one as it zoomed past the stand at 280km/h with barely a “woosh”. With more than 30 cars in 4 different categories (the other two are “just” GTE), it’s also a very busy track with overpassing happening all the time.
Finally, most of race happens at night. At an average of 200km/h for 6 hours and most of the race happening at night, this is definitely not for the faint hearted. Case in point, the Ferrari driver who won the GTE category that night was none other than ex-Formula 1 star Giancarlo Fisichella. For a feel of what one night lap looks like with Benoît Tréluyer behind the wheel of the winning Audi.
You don’t have to take my word for it, as Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest) says: “The race didn’t seem to me like a 6-hour race but like 24 hours because there was so much happening. Positions one and two are sensational. Getting both cars to finish without heat-induced problems is really a solid achievement.”
Again, congratulations to Audi, and thank you for hosting this in style.