UPDATE: Paul di Resta excluded from qualifying

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The FIA stewards have confirmed that Paul di Resta’s car has been found to be under the weight limit, and the driver has subsequently been relegated to the back of the grid.

di Resta, who is enjoying his home race this weekend, qualified an excellent 5th on Saturday, easily making it through to Q3 and leading the field behind the Mercedes-Red Bull battle that was ensuing at the front. The Scot was delighted with his performance.

“I’m over the moon with the qualifying result and I think the whole team can feel very satisfied with fifth on the grid,” di Resta said in a team statement. “The morning practice session was quite difficult so it feels great to come through and end up just behind two Mercedes and two Red Bulls.

“This track takes a lot of commitment and you need to build up your speed, but I think we saved our best till last – and that’s when it mattered.”

However, this has paled into insignificance after the stewards elected to penalize him for being 1.5kg under the weight limit, disqualifying from the session. di Resta now has the choice of starting P22 or from the pit lane.

Force India were thought to be considering an appeal, but instead opted to accept the stewards’ decision.

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.