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Porsche hopes to make up for controversial 2021 WEC final defeat

Porsche and Ferrari will face each other for championship glory in the final of the Bahrain 8 Hours on Saturday, the final race in the GTE Pro division that has been a cornerstone of the WEC since its revival in 2012.

Porsche and Ferrari were involved in a similar dispute during last year’s season finale at the Bahrain International Circuit, which ended with Christensen being spun by Alessandro Pier Guidi’s Ferrari with just over 10 minutes to go in the race.

Pier Guidi was immediately informed by race control to return the position to Christensen, but the order was later withdrawn, allowing the Italian and teammate James Calado to win the race and with it claim the drivers’ title.

Porsche initially revealed its intention to protest the stewards’ decision, but ultimately decided not to take the matter to the International Court of Appeal.

Returning to the scene of their controversial showdown after 12 months, Christensen said winning this year’s GTE Pro title is “important” for Porsche after the way last year’s championship was decided.

“You always want to finish well in anything and I think this is one of them,” Christensen told Motorsport.com.

“For us, we lost a little bit last year in a sad way. So for us, I wouldn’t say [it means] more than anyone else, because that’s wrong to say, but it obviously means a lot.

“It’s very important for us to try to win.”

Porsche motorsport Thomas Laudenbach has admitted that the marque’s title defeat to Ferrari “hurts” and is hoping to be able to end its factory program with the RSR-19 GTE car on a high.

#92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 GTE-PRO: Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre

#92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR – 19 GTE-PRO: Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“It’s the last year for this class, it’s the last year in our hands as a factory entry for the RSR,” Laudenbach told Motorsport.com.

“So for sure we want to finish with a win, especially as we lost the world championship here 8-10 minutes before the end of the race and it hurt.

“For sure the objective is to win the championship.”

Ferrari has a slight lead in the championship standings over arch-rival Porsche thanks to wins at Spa and Fuji, with Pier Guidi and Calado’s #51 AF Corse 488 GTE leading Christensen and Kevin Estre’s #92 911 RSR-19 by 11 spots.

Both manufacturers were given the chance to complete long dedicated runs in the three practice sessions before qualifying and Christensen admits that Ferrari appeared faster on a track that is known to be heavy on degradation.

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“Unfortunately, we see Ferrari being quite strong in long races,” Christensen said ahead of qualifying.

“This track is very difficult for the tyres, so it will be difficult. We have to be very careful with what we do because it can harm us in the long run.

“It’s hot to start with and then it gets colder. There are also some levels where the race can go in one direction or the other.

“But generally Ferrari have a long-term advantage.”

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