Abu Dhabi Proton Racing takes second in GTE-Am in Bahrain


Team Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing got off to a good start in the season finale in Bahrain. The team was in the fight for 1st when the car lost power on a straight, losing valuable seconds and potentially costing them first place.

The weekend started poorly for the team with a technical problem preventing the 911 RSR from setting fast times in qualifying.

Emirati champion, Khaled Al Qubaisi, therefore started the 6hrs of Bahrain from the back of the grid but managed to push up into 2nd place by the time he handed the car over to Klaus Bachler. The Austrian maintained the 2nd place position driving 2 stints back to back. When Al Qubaisi took over again as the team was in the lead.

By the halfway point (after 3 hours) the Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing team was leading when a full course yellow was declared. It was a Porsche 1-2 in the LMGTE Am class as the sister car no77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche were in second as all the cars headed to the pit-lane to take advantage of the full course yellow.

The competition hotted up as Italian Marco Mapelli took over from Khaled Al Qubaisi. Mapelli had an exciting run posting brilliant times during a battle between him and the now leader Aston Martin Team. When Mapelli pitted to hand over the car to Klaus Bachler just 10 seconds stood between Abu Dhabi-Proton team and 1st place Aston Martin.

Bachler rejoined the race for the final stint in P4 moving up to P2 putting him head to head with the Aston in the fight for the top spot. Unfortunately the team was struck by poor luck in the final few laps of the race when the engine lost power and stopped on the straight.  The Austrian managed to restart the car but lost 33 seconds to Aston.

Team Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing ended the final race of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2nd place behind the leader by 14.5 seconds.

Al Qubaisi said: “Again bad luck! We were having a good race and were very close to securing the win in Bahrain, but unfortunately Klaus lost the engine power in the last stint and we lost around 30 seconds! Klaus restarted the car and continued pushing as hard as possible to finish in 2nd place. It’s a good result and strong performance from the team. ”

Abu Dhabi Racing Press Release