Porsche v Ferrari: WEC rolls back the years
Fans of that age-old rivalry between Porsche and Ferrari got a dose of nostalgia during the FIA World Endurance Championship season finale in Bahrain recently when the two marques went to war – on and off the track – over the GTE Pro championship crown.
In a row straight out of the 1970s, Porsche was left aggrieved after contact between Ferrari driver Alessandro Pier Guidi and Michael Christensen tipped the 911 RSR into a spin during the final minutes of the Bahrain 8 Hours. Pier Guidi was ordered to give the place back by the race director, but Christensen pulled into the pits for his final scheduled refuelling stop straight after the incident.
With Christensen’s co-drivers Neel Jani and Kévin Estre holding the joint championship lead with Pier Guidi and James Calado heading into the race, the clash proved decisive in handing the win, and the crown, to the Ferrari pair.
Jani sarcastically applauded Pier Guidi during the post-race interviews, and Porsche’s WEC boss Alexander Stehlig said that the Stuttgart brand had appealed and would be prepared to go to an international court over the matter. Porsche then withdrew the appeal a few days later.
Neither the GTE Pro Drivers’ nor Manufacturers’ trophies were handed out in the paddock. But presumably Maranello has them in the post. Ahh, just like the good old days… we can’t wait for them to co-exist in LM Hypercars/LMDh.