The FIA World Endurance Championship concludes its season in Bahrain
Paul-Loup Chatin, Charles Milesi and Lilou Wadoux determined to finish in style
This week, the Richard Mille Racing Team is entering the home stretch by taking up the challenge of the 8 Hours of Bahrain on the circuit which hosted the first laps of its adventure.
For this final meeting of the year, the trio made up of Charles Milesi, Lilou Wadoux and Paul-Loup Chatin will have a simple objective: to realize the potential demonstrated throughout the year and end their season on a highnote. Supported by Signatech engineers, they were able to continue their continuous progress, notably targeting new marginal gains on a track feared for its tricky surface due to the surrounding desert.
The Bahraini track will also bring back good memories for each of them, starting with the technical team, which obtained three consecutive pole positions in LMP2 between 2015 and 2017. The three crew members also know the circuit, and even share a unique point in common: all three have already been selected by the FIA WEC to take part in the rookie tests in the premier category of Endurance. After Paul-Loup Chatin in 2016 and Charles Milesi in the wake of his title in 2021, Lilou Wadoux will in turn take the wheel of a Hypercar the day after the race!
If she is delighted with this opportunity and is focused on the grand final of the calendar: "I am really looking forward to returning to Bahrain, a track where I have a little experience as I started my adventure there with the Richard Mille Racing Team twelve months ago. The objective will obviously be to continue our progress to finish the season in style with a solid result. In any case, I'm going to take full advantage of this last race of the year, which will be immediately followed by my rookie test in Hypercar. I can't wait to discover the prototypes of the premier category and I hope everything goes well! »
Equally determined, Charles Milesi shares the same goal: “This final represents one last opportunity to shine this year. So far we have been a little short of success, but I know the whole team has been pushing hard since the start of the season and I hope our efforts will eventually pay off in Bahrain. The goal will therefore be to concretize all our work by going for a good result to conclude this promising campaign. »
For his third race with the Oreca-Gibson n°1, Paul-Loup Chatin will also be keen to make the team shine in the night: "The plan is simple: we must succeed in putting together all the efforts and everything that we have built over the year to achieve this result that we deserve, that is to say a top five, even a podium. I think it's really within our reach and we're going to need that bit of success that we missed in previous events. We will focus on our work trying to avoid mistakes and we will see where we are in the last half hour of the race to get the best possible result! »
Charles Milesi, Lilou Wadoux and Paul-Loup Chatin will return to the wheel today for the first free practice. Qualifying will take place on Friday before the start of the 8 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday noon (Paris time). The three drivers will take turns as the sun gradually declines to immerse the circuit in the magic of the night.
"The clearly stated goal is to realize the potential of our crew in Bahrain", concludes Philippe Sinault, team principal of the Richard Mille Racing Team. “For a few races, we feel that a huge step forward has been taken on a technical, sporting and human level. We have made so much progress that we really want to obtain a convincing result for this whole team, which deserves it so much. Our level of performance should allow us to play at the forefront of this extremely tough field, and we are convinced that we can claim the podium if all the pieces of the puzzle come together. To achieve this, it will of course be necessary to master the fundamental challenges of Bahrain, including a track made more abrasive than natural by the sand. Tire wear and development will be among our main topics from our first laps on Thursday. We will also have to understand the thermal amplitude throughout the race, with its particular context due to the start during the day and the finish at night. However, we are confident thanks to our experience, but also to the duration of the race, because we like this eight-hour format very much and will highlight our best qualities! »