Toyota kicks off with double

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The two Toyota TS040 Hybrids took first and second places with the win going to the car driven by Davidson-Lapierre-Buemi.

The Japanese manufacturer emerged victorious in the Silverstone 6 Hours getting its 2012 World Endurance Championship campaign off to a great start. The two Toyota TS040 Hybrids took first and second places with the win going to the car driven by Davidson-Lapierre-Buemi. Consolation for Porsche came in the form of a double in LM GTE Pro, and in LM GTE Am Aston Martin also clinched a double.

The first round of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship generated high expectations. There was a new set of regulations governing the blue riband category, LM P1; new entries, in particular the eagerly-awaited return of Porsche, and new challenges at stake in LM GTE with Porsche and Aston Martin determined to break 2013 champion Ferrari’s hegemony.

By the end of the event a good number of questions had been answered. Despite the new technical regulations lowering fuel consumption drastically – up to at least 30 per cent – the cars put on stunning performances and the drivers had a ding-dong sporting battle. The race fulfilled all its promise. After a thrilling early scrap between Toyota, Audi and Porsche the rain set the cat among the pigeons, and caught out several drivers as they shod more or less suitable tyres to cope with the conditions. Toyota took advantage of the situation to put its two cars in the lead. Audi was hit by bad luck in the form of accidents while the no. 14 Porsche retired with technical issues. Shortly after half-distance both R18 e-trons had quit the dance, the first double retirement for Audi since the 2011 Petit Le Mans.

#8 Toyota Racing Toyota TS040-Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre, Sebastien Buemi
#8 Toyota Racing Toyota TS040-Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre, Sebastien Buemi

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Davidson-Laperre-Buemi took the chequered flag in first place in their Toyota TS040 Hybrid followed by the sister car in the hands of Wurz-Sarrazin-Nakajima. The race was stopped 25 minutes early because of a deluge that hit the circuit. The Porsche 919 Hybrid of Webber-Bernhard-Hartley had a trouble-free race and came home third with fourth going to the Prost-Heidfeld-Beche Lola B12/60 coupe.

In LM P2 victory went to the G-Drive Racing trio of Rusinov-Pla-Canal in their Morgan-Nissan, the make’s second success in 24 hours after its win on Saturday in the first round of the European Le Mans Series.

Like Toyota in LM P1 Porsche came out on top in the LM GTE Pro category as the two works 911 RSRs scored a double after a hotly-disputed race in the opening hours with Ferrari providing tough opposition. The F458 spearheading Maranello’s attack, no. 51 driven by Bruni-Vilander, was handicapped by technical glitches and a penalty and it fell back. The no. 92 Porsche of Makowiecki-Holzer-Lietz took the flag in first place.

Aston Martin, which came third in GTE Pro thanks to Turner-Mücke in no. 97, scored the third double of the weekend in LM GTE Am with victory going to no. 95 in the hands of three Danes, Poulsen-Heinemeir Hansson-Thiim. A total of 43 000 spectators flocked to the British circuit over the weekend compared to 35 000 in 2013!

Before tackling the pinnacle of the championship, the Le Mans 24 Hours on 14-15 June, for which double points will be awarded, the teams entered for the FIA World Endurance Championship will do battle again on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on 3rd May. On Saturday 19th April the first round of the European Le Mans Series took place as a prelude to the Silverstone 6 Hours. A number of cars that raced in this event will also be taking part in the Sarthe classic.

After a thrilling race overall victory in the LM P2 category went to the Thiriet by TDS Racing Morgan-Nissan driven by Thiriet-Badey-Gommendy from Frey-Mailleux in their Race Performance Oreca 03-Nissan, and another Morgan with Judd power entered by Newblood by Morand Racing for Klien-Hirsch-Brandela. Ferrari triumphed in both the GTE and GTC categories with first place in the former going to the AF Corse 458 Italia of Rugolo-Griffin-Cameron, and in the latter to the one entered by Team Ukraine driven by Kruglyk-Chukanov-Pier Guidi.

The next round of the European Le Mans Endurance Championship will take place on the Imola circuit in Italy on 18th May.

ACO

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About this article
Series WEC
Article type Race report
Tags audi, buemi, davidson, lapierre, nakajima, porsche, sarrazin, silverstone, toyota, wec, wurz

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