Davidson and Buemi jubilant after FIA WEC title win

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Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi have made no secret of their happiness after winning the FIA World Endurance Championship drivers’ title in Bahrain yesterday.

Despite finishing only 10th in the 6 Hours of Bahrain at Sakhir, Davidson and Buemi were both crowned champions after the Audi #2 car of Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler could only finish fourth, giving the Toyota drivers an unassailable lead ahead of the final race of the season.

“It’s been an amazing year,” Davidson said. “For me personally this is the biggest achievement in my career by a long way so it is a big day. I have never been a World Champion before so this means a lot and it still hasn’t really sunk in yet.

“The team did an amazing job and have given us the fastest car. It wasn’t exactly the way we wanted to win the title but I’m not complaining. Big thanks to the mechanics today for getting the car out on track again, not only the #8 guys but also the crew from #7 who helped out. This championship has been a real team effort and I’m so grateful to everyone who has made it happen. It’s a great day but there is still one more job to do in Brazil: win the manufacturers’ World Championship.”

Davidson’s co-pilot, Sebastien Buemi, was equally elated in the wake of their title win.

“I am really pleased, it’s a great feeling to win the World Championship,” the Frenchman said. “It’s not the way we wanted to get it but we are really happy. To win a championship when you are competing against Porsche and Audi is a fantastic achievement. We had the car to win the race but I’m happy #7 won. Thanks to the team because to win a championship you need a great car and that’s what they gave us.

“Even if it is the drivers’ World Championship, it is really a title for the team because without everyone here at the track, back at Cologne and in Higashifuji, Anthony and I would not be here today. If we can make sure we win the manufacturers’ championship in Brazil it will be a fantastic year.”

For both drivers, this title victory proves that there is indeed life after Formula 1. Neither driver enjoyed the most notable F1 career, and were perhaps sold short by the circumstances under which they raced.

However, in the WEC, they have firmly established themselves as world beaters – something that would have been impossible for them in F1.

The race at the Bahrain International Circuit was eventually won by the sister #7 Toyota, leading home the two Porsche cars.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”