2014 Le Mans date moved up to June 14-15; no F1 race planned that weekend

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The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has announced the 2014 date for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 82nd running of the French endurance classic will be held June 14-15, a week earlier than this year. Additional dates around the event include the traditional test day to be held Sunday, June 1, with scrutineering (technical inspection) on June 8-9.

The race was moved back to June 22-23 this year, initially, to avoid a conflict with the new Grand Prix of Port Imperial Formula One race that was set to be held June 16. The race at Port Imperial was postponed until 2014, but the Le Mans date did not move back as planned.

On Friday’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, the FIA confirmed there won’t be a Formula One race on the same weekend as Le Mans. That could free up any of the current F1 drivers to race at Le Mans, which has not been done since Sebastien Bourdais did so in 2009.

Another area to note is that the 2014 U.S. Open golf tournament will be held June 12-15. That’s televised by NBC, and could cause the F1 TV for that weekend to shift around if there was a Grand Prix.

No F1 race on that June 14-15 weekend would imply the Port Imperial round, which has been projected to follow the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal, would not occur on the second half of the back-to-back weekends.

Monaco is scheduled for May 25, but the rest of the Formula One calendar for 2014 is yet to be determined.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.