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WEC Bahrain II

Porsche files protest against Ferrari after Bahrain GTE clash

Porsche has protested the GTE Pro winning Ferrari after its late clash with the German manufacturer's lead entry in the Bahrain World Endurance Championship finale.

Porsche head of WEC operations Alexander Stehlig revealed after the race that a protest had been filed against the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi after it tipped Michael Christensen in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR shared with Kevin Estre and Neel Jani into a spin.

Stehlig told Motorsport.com: "I can confirm that we have made a protest, but not the details or content of the protest.

"This kind of incident normally comes with a drive-through or at such a late stage of the race a 30-second time penalty. I do not want to say more at this stage."

Victory for Calado and Pier Guidi has provisionally given them the GTE Pro title ahead of Estre and Jani, who started the race equal on points with the Ferrari duo.

The Ferrari and the Porsche were battling for the GTE Pro lead and the WEC class title when Pier Guidi hit Christensen at the final corner with 11 minutes of the Bahrain 8 Hours remaining.

The race director immediately ordered Pier Guidi to hand back the position, but Christensen dived into the pits for a scheduled splash and dash as the Ferrari driver slowed on the start-finish straight.

Pier Guidi subsequently came in for a splash and resumed with a 1.9s lead, which he extended to 3.2s at the chequered flag.

Stehlig revealed that the order to Pier Guidi to cede position had been rescinded, even though this was not shown on the official timing screens.

Christensen said of Pier Guidi's move: "I was just punched off the track.

"He got an unbelievable penalty. I have never seen such a small one before and he didn't even take that.

"I really can't see the point of racing like this."

Pier Guidi suggested that the accident was precipitated by Christensen letting Filipe Albuquerque in the United Autosports LMP2 ORECA through at Turn 15.

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"I didn't like [what happened] but I couldn't do anything different — I couldn't avoid him," he said.

Christensen argued that he was on the normal racing line and did nothing unusual. "The prototype was overtaking me and I was on the outside of the corner as you would expect," he said.

"I wasn't braking early, but, of course, I have to make sure I can make the corner."

The results of the Bahrain 8 Hours remain provisional but there has been no official communication from the WEC regarding Porsche's protest.

The trophies for the GTE Pro drivers' and the manufacturers' championships, also won by Ferrari, were not given out at the post-race prize-giving held close to the paddock.

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