Silverstone WEC: Toyota beats Porsche to win hectic opener
Toyota took victory in the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone, as Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi overcame a stiff challenge from Porsche to win.
Having dominated qualifying, the high-downforce Toyotas retained a clear edge in pace over the Le Mans-spec Porsches in full dry conditions, but rain showers and two caution periods helped keep the German manufacturer in contention until the end.
A safety car caused by a crash at Copse for Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 Toyota allowed the #2 919 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard to stay close enough to the #8 car to attempt a strategic gamble during its final stop.
Hartley's car took fuel only, while Toyota took four new tyres as Nakajima handed over to Buemi for the last stint, giving the Kiwi driver an eight-second advantage with 31 minutes remaining.
But Buemi was able to carve into the Porsche's cushion at a rate of over a second a lap, before making the inevitable pass for the lead at The Loop with 12 minutes left.
Buemi went on to seal the win - his and Davidson's first in the WEC since Shanghai 2014, and the #8 crew's first as a trio - by 6.173s.
Behind the lead pair, the #1 Porsche of Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy finished third a further 40 seconds back, losing time with a pair of additional pitstops to switch first to intermediates during a shower in the third hour and then back to slicks when the rain abated.
Prior to Lopez's crash, which resulted in the Argentinian being taken to hospital for precautionary checks, the #7 Toyota was already well out of contention.
Polesitter Mike Conway traded the lead with Buemi's #8 car in the early stages, before dropping off the pace after the first round of pitstops with a rear anti-roll bar problem.
A change of rear bodywork was followed by a trip to the gravel at Vale for Kobayashi in the third hour, prior to the Lopez accident that consigned the #7 car into the garage for lengthy repairs.
Conway eventually took the finish some 38 laps down.
The ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01, which spent time in the garage early on with a brake issue, failed to make the finish after making contact with the #97 Aston Martin Vantage on the pitlane entry.
In LMP2, it was the JOTA Sport-run #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca of Oliver Jarvis, Thomas Laurent and Ho-Pin Tung that took a comfortable win.
The defending champion Signatech Alpine team controlled the class battle for the first two-thirds of the race, before two late Full Course Yellows shook up the order.
Matthieu Vaxiviere briefly led for the TDS Racing squad when racing resumed at the start of the fifth hour, but Jarvis was able to make a decisive pass on the #28 Oreca when it was in Emmanuel Collard's hands in the final hour.
After a final stop with 20 minutes left, Jarvis went on to win by 19.376s over the best of the Rebellions, the #13 Oreca of Nicolas Prost, Bruno Senna and Julien Canal.
TDS fell just 1.8s second short of the runner-up spot, with Vaxiviere making a late charge after taking over again for the finish, with the Signatech car of Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Matt Rao ending up a lapped fourth.
Ford beats Ferrari in GTE Pro
Ford survived a late scare with an opening door to take victory in GTE Pro, as Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx took a home win in the #67 Ganassi-run GT along with Pipo Derani.
The trio had led early on but fell out of sequence after having to make an early first stop to address the door problem, which recurred in the last half-hour.
But the two Full Course Yellows gave the #67 trio a free stop, putting them back in line with their rivals, with Tincknell bringing the car home with a 15s advantage over the #51 AF Corse Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi.
Third in class went to the sole surviving Porsche, the #91 of Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz, a further 10 seconds back, narrowly ahead of the second of the Fords, the #66 of Oliver Pla, Stefan Mucke and Billy Johnson – which didn’t stop during the FCY periods.
The other mid-engined 911 RSR of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre caused the first caution period when the car came to a halt and set on fire in the fourth hour.
In GTE Am, Matt Griffin scored a famous victory for the #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari squad along with teammates Keita Sawa and Mok Weng Sun.
Griffin took advantage of a last-lap clash between Pedro Lamy in the #98 Aston Martin, which had led the class for almost the entire race, and Miguel Molina in the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari at Stowe.
Lamy recovered from the incident to finish second, 1.7s behind Griffin, while Molina was unable to continue, handing the final class podium place to the #77 Proton Competition Porsche.
|1||8|| Anthony Davidson |
|Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LMP1||197|
|2||2|| Timo Bernhard |
|Porsche 919 Hybrid||LMP1||197||6.173|
|3||1|| Andre Lotterer |
|Porsche 919 Hybrid||LMP1||197||46.956|
|4||38|| Oliver Jarvis |
|Oreca 07||LMP2||184||13 laps|
|5||31|| Bruno Senna |
|6||28|| François Perrodo |
|7||36|| Nicolas Lapierre |
|Alpine A470||LMP2||183||14 laps|
|8||26|| Roman Rusinov |
|9||24|| Jean-Eric Vergne |
|10||25|| Vitaly Petrov |
|Oreca 07||LMP2||182||15 laps|
|11||37|| David Cheng |
|12||13|| Nelson Piquet Jr. |
David Heinemeier Hansson
|Oreca 07||LMP2||172||25 laps|
|13||67|| Pipo Derani |
|Ford GT||LMGTE PRO||171||26 laps|
|14||51|| James Calado |
Alessandro Pier Guidi
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE PRO||171||15.604|
|15||91|| Richard Lietz |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE PRO||171||26.585|
|16||66|| Stefan Mücke |
|Ford GT||LMGTE PRO||171||27.491|
|17||71|| Sam Bird |
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE PRO||170||27 laps|
|18||95|| Marco Sorensen |
|Aston Martin Vantage||LMGTE PRO||170||43.753|
|19||97|| Darren Turner |
|Aston Martin Vantage||LMGTE PRO||168||29 laps|
|20||61|| Matt Griffin |
Mok Weng Sun
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE AM||166||31 laps|
|21||98|| Pedro Lamy |
Paul Dalla Lana
|Aston Martin Vantage V8||LMGTE AM||166||1.768|
|22||77|| Christian Ried |
|Porsche 911 RSR (991)||LMGTE AM||166||25.315|
|23||7|| Kamui Kobayashi |
Jose Maria Lopez
|Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LMP1||159||38 laps|
|24||86|| Michael Wainwright |
|Porsche 911 RSR (991)||LMGTE AM||143||54 laps|
|25||54|| Francesco Castellacci |
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE AM||165||32 laps|
|26||4|| Oliver Webb |
|ENSO CLM P1/01||LMP1||155||42 laps|
|27||92|| Michael Christensen |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE PRO||95||102 laps|
Lopez taken to hospital after Silverstone WEC crash
Lopez released from hospital after Silverstone WEC crash
Silverstone WEC: Toyota beats Porsche to win hectic opener
|FP1||Fri 8 Nov|| |
|FP2||Fri 8 Nov|| |
|FP3||Sat 9 Nov|| |
|Q1||Sat 9 Nov|| |
|Q2||Sat 9 Nov|| |
|Race||Sun 10 Nov|| |
- Formula 1