Silverstone WEC: Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima win again

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Silverstone WEC: Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima win again
Jamie Klein
By: Jamie Klein
Aug 19, 2018, 5:08 PM

Toyota drivers Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima scored their third consecutive FIA World Endurance Championship victory at Silverstone.

The two Toyotas were again in a league of their own at the head of the LMP1 field, but the fight between the two cars ebbed and flowed over the course of the race.

Alonso overtook Mike Conway in the #7 Toyota in the third hour to assume the lead for the #8 crew, and had built a five-second advantage that was eliminated by a safety car period caused by a bollard coming lose at Brooklands.

Nakajima took over from Alonso thereafter but lost out to Jose Maria Lopez, who replaced Conway at the wheel of the #7 machine and went past in the fourth hour before escaping to the tune of 14 seconds.

The #8 Toyota had a nose change at its next stop, when Buemi took the wheel, and a rear-bodywork change for the #7 machine with a little over an hour on the clock allowed the Swiss driver to close within striking distance.

Buemi resumed just six seconds in arrears of Kamui Kobayashi before he closed in and overtook the Japanese driver with 48 minutes left, going on to take victory by 19 seconds.

The best of the privateers was the #3 Rebellion R-13 Gibson of Gustavo Menezes, Mathias Beche and Thomas Laurent, which ended up four laps down on the all-conquering Toyotas.

Beche survived a chaotic first corner in which he made contact with Stephane Sarrazin’s #17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1, causing both cars to spin and forcing the second Rebellion, the #1 car, off-track in avoidance.

That left the #11 SMP BR1 as the best of the non-hybrids in the early part of the race, but the car shared by Jenson Button, Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov retired with an apparent engine problem before the one-hour mark.

Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer appeared on course for the final podium spot up until the final hour, when they dropped behind their teammates in the #3 car with a late pitstop to change rear bodywork due to a faulty tail-light.

Sarrazin and teammate Egor Orudzhev took fifth in the surviving SMP BR1, falling further behind the Rebellion cars as after a puncture following contact with the #71 Ferrari GTE car and a subsequent brief stop on the entry to the pitlane.

DragonSpeed’s customer BR1 finished up 32 laps down after a succession of long stops, while debutant Rene Binder brought ByKolles’ race to an early end with a spin during the first full-course yellow period as he encountered traffic on the Wellington Straight.

LMP2: Jackie Chan DC Racing dominates

#38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Ho-Ping Tung, Gabriel Aubry, Stéphane Richelmi

#38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Ho-Ping Tung, Gabriel Aubry, Stéphane Richelmi

Photo by: Paul Foster

Jackie Chan DC Racing scored a dominant 1-2 finish in the LMP2 division, the two Jota Sport-run Oreca cars finishing two laps up on their nearest opposition.

It was the #38 car of Ho-Pin Tung, Stephane Richelmi and Gabriel Aubry that prevailed, despite having to make two extra pitstops – one as Tung was penalised for jumping the start and the other when the car had to make an additional stop during the safety car period.

The all-Malaysian #37 crew of Weiron Tan, Nabil Jeffri and Jazeman Jaafar also lost time with a puncture but ended up just 1.9 seconds adrift of the #38 car at the flag.

Jackie Chan DC Racing’s only serious rival, TDS Racing, fell out of contention when the #28 Oreca suffered a broken upright and then a puncture in quick succession, handing third place to Signatech Alpine.

Anthony Davidson took fourth on his LMP2 debut in the DragonSpeed Oreca he shared with Pastor Maldonado and Roberto Gonzalez, which was beset by issues – including a first-lap stoppage and two late-race penalties.

GTE: Ferrari victorious as Ford falters

#51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado

#51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado

Photo by: Paul Foster

Ferrari scored its first win of the season in the GTE Pro category, with the #51 AF Corse duo of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado taking a comfortable victory.

Ford assumed control of the race in the second hour after the chaotic start shuffled the order, but the #66 car of Olivier Pla and Stefan Mucke dropped out of the lead fight when it had to change a left-side door.

Teammates Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx looked well-set for victory until the first full-course-yellow, which allowed the #51 Ferrari to jump to second, and then lost further ground when they pitted immediately prior to the second FCY period in hour five.

Calado and Pier Guidi benefitted from that to assume the lead, ahead of the two Porsches, ultimately pulling away abd finishing 14 seconds up on the #91 machine shared by Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz.

Tincknell managed to force his way past Michael Christensen’s #92 Porsche in the final hour at Stowe and Vale to take the final podium spot in the #67 Ford, 35 seconds back from the winning Ferrari.

Aston Martin was fifth with the #97 Vantage GTE shared by Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin, with the British marque failing to replicate its improved one-lap pace in the race. The sister #95 car dropped out with gear selection issues.

The leading BMW was sixth, the #81 M8 GTE of Martin Tomczyk and Nicky Catsburg, with the sister car suffering a mechanical failure that caused Antonio Felix da Costa’s cockpit to fill up with smoke and forced its retirement.

In GTE Am, victory went to the #77 Proton Porsche shared by Le Mans class winners Christian Ried, Matt Campbell and Julien Andlauer.

The Project 1 Porsche and TF Sport Aston Martin teams were locked in battle for a large part of the race, with TF gaining the upper hand when on-loan factory Aston man Jonathan Adam took over the #90 car in the second part of the race.

However, both the leading squads were forced to serve 75-second stop-and-go penalties for pitting under the safety car, relegating Adam and teammates Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood to a distant second, 46 seconds down at the finish.

Project 1 trio Jorg Bergmeister, Egidio Perfetti and Patrick Lindsey completed the podium ahead of the works #98 Aston Martin thanks to a last-lap pass from Bergmeister.

#77 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Christian Ried, Julien Andlauer, Matt Campbell

#77 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Christian Ried, Julien Andlauer, Matt Campbell

Photo by: Paul Foster

Race results:

Pos. # Drivers Car Class Time/Gap
1 8 Spain Fernando Alonso 
Japan Kazuki Nakajima 
Switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 196 laps
2 7 Japan Kamui Kobayashi 
United Kingdom Mike Conway 
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 16.913
3 3 Switzerland Mathias Beche 
France Thomas Laurent 
United States Gustavo Menezes 
Rebellion R13 LMP1 4 laps
4 1 Germany Andre Lotterer 
Switzerland Neel Jani 
Rebellion R13 LMP1 5 laps
5 17 France Stéphane Sarrazin 
Russian Federation Egor Orudzhev 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 5 laps
6 38 China Ho-Pin Tung 
Monaco Stéphane Richelmi 
France Gabriel Aubry 
Oreca 07 LMP2 12 laps
7 37 Malaysia Nabil Jeffri 
Malaysia Weiron Tan 
Malaysia Jazeman Jaafar 
Oreca 07 LMP2 12 laps
8 36 France Nicolas Lapierre 
France Pierre Thiriet 
Brazil Andre Negrao 
Alpine A470 LMP2 14 laps
9 31 United Kingdom Anthony Davidson 
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado 
Mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 16 laps
10 29 Netherlands Giedo van der Garde 
Netherlands Nyck de Vries 
Netherlands Frits van Eerd 
Dallara P217 LMP2 16 laps
11 50 France Romano Ricci 
France Erwin Creed 
Japan Yoshiharu Mori 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 21 laps
12 28 France Loic Duval 
France François Perrodo 
France Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 LMP2 24 laps
13 51 United Kingdom James Calado 
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 25 laps
14 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni 
Austria Richard Lietz 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 25 laps
15 67 United Kingdom Harry Tincknell 
Guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 25 laps
16 92 Denmark Michael Christensen 
France Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 25 laps
17 97 Belgium Maxime Martin 
United Kingdom Alex Lynn 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 26 laps
18 81 Netherlands Nick Catsburg 
Germany Martin Tomczyk 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 26 laps
19 66 Germany Stefan Mücke 
France Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 27 laps
20 77 Germany Christian Ried 
Australia Matt Campbell 
France Julien Andlauer 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 29 laps
21 90 United Kingdom Jonathan Adam 
Turkey Salih Yoluc 
Ireland Charles Eastwood 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 29 laps
22 98 Portugal Pedro Lamy 
Canada Paul Dalla Lana 
Austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 29 laps
23 56 Germany Jörg Bergmeister 
United States Patrick Lindsey 
Norway Egidio Perfetti 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 29 laps
24 61 Ireland Matthew Griffin 
Singapore Mok Weng Sun 
Japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 30 laps
25 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright 
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker 
Australia Alex Davison 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 30 laps
26 88 Italy Gianluca Roda 
Italy Matteo Cairoli 
Italy Giorgio Roda 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 30 laps
27 70 Monaco Olivier Beretta 
Italy Eddie Cheever III 
Japan Motoaki Ishikawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 30 laps
28 10 Sweden Henrik Hedman 
Netherlands Renger van der Zande 
United Kingdom Ben Hanley 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 32 laps
29 54 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 
Italy Francesco Castellacci 
Switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 39 laps
30 71 United Kingdom Sam Bird 
Italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 40 laps
31 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen 
Denmark Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 42 laps
32 82 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa 
Brazil Augusto Farfus 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 80 laps
33 4 United Kingdom Oliver Webb 
Austria Rene Binder 
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 137 laps
34 11 United Kingdom Jenson Button 
Russian Federation Vitaly Petrov 
Russian Federation Mikhail Aleshin 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 173 laps
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