Andy Priaulx targets GT World title in Bahrain

For Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell their bid to win the GT FIA Endurance Drivers’ Championship has come down to the wire in the final race of the year. The British duo will be taking on the best in GT racing when they compete at the Bahrain International Circuit for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team in the ninth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The task ahead is not being underestimated by Andy, as he explained what they have to do to secure the title: “It is the last race of the year, we are seven and a half points off the lead of the championship, so basically if everyone finishes we need to win the race and put our Ford GT on pole. It is a tall ask but possible.” For him this is not a new experience as he explains: “In the days when I was racing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship I have gone to races on the back foot and come away as the champion. I learnt then that you have to be positive and this is how I am approaching the coming weekend.”

After two years with the team, the Guernsey driver has lots of confidence in what they can achieve: “I am very positive we should be reasonably competitive in Bahrain. It is a tough track and it is going to be a tough race. I am expecting this to come down to the final stint of the race. Hopefully we will be in good shape. We need to make the best of everything possible, and we need to have another repeat of Shanghai where we had a perfect execution with what both Harry and I did with the driving and the team did with the stops. The pressure is on. The team has reacted very well under pressure over the last races and we could not have a better team round us. I have had a great year and am looking forward to ending it on a high. ”

The desert circuit at Sakhir can have an abrasive surface due to the sand, so Andy also knows that the tyres will be crucial there: “We had a test in Bahrain, so hopefully that will give us a good knowledge of the circuit and tyre degradation. Obviously making four and a half sets of tyres survive a six hour race is never easy, so it is about tyre degradation, management and putting in the very best performances in the periods where these races are crucial, which includes pit stops and in and out laps.”

The track has hosted 13 Grands Prix and is 5.412 kilometres long. The race will start just before dusk and finish in the dark and at this time of the year the ambient temperatures could be in the high twenties or low thirties Celsius. As in this part of the world Sunday is a work day, the race is held on a Saturday and the first track action will be on Thursday, 16th November with Free Practice 1 from 15.00 to 16.30, while Free Practice 2 is later in the day from 19.30 to 21.00. On Friday Free Practice 3 is from 11.20 to 12.20 and Qualifying for the LMGTE cars is from 17.00 to 17.20. The six-hour race on Saturday is from 16.00 to 22.00. All these times are local, which is three hours ahead of GMT.

Andy Priaulx Press Release