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WEC: 6 Hours of Silverstone – Toyota, Ford, Chinese open season with wins

Starting grid, Top 3 each class

LMP1 #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid (Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez), #8 Toyota (Sebastian Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kaz Nakajima), #1 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid (Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy)

LMP2 #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07-Gibson (Roman Rusinov, Pierre Thiriet, Alex Lynn), #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut A470-Gibson (Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes, M. Rao), #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07-Gibson (Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis, Thomas Laurent)

GTE Pro #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK GT (Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Pipo Derani),  #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE (Davide Rigon, Sam Bird), #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage (Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorenson, Richie Stanaway)

GTE Am #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage (Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, Matthias Lauda), #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE (T. Flohr, F. Castellacci, Miguel Molina), #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR (Christian Ried, Matteo Cairolli, M. Dienst).

 

Mike Conway held the lead at the start, in front of teammate Sebastian Buemi. Nicolas Lapierre took the LMP2 lead in the #36, with Bruno Senna second in the #31, and Alex Lynn third in the #26. The #66 Ford GT (Stefan Mucke) moved into second in GTE Pro, followed by the #95 Aston (Nicki Thiim). Both trailed Andy Priaulx in the #67 Ford.  

The #8 Toyota passed Conway for the lead 10 min into the race, the two Toyotas opening up a 5 sec gap on the Porsches.

Eight minutes later Mucke took the GTE Pro lead from the #67, with Michael Christensen in the #92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR moving past Priaulx into second.

At 5:34 remaining the Toyotas held a 7.5 sec  lead on the first Porsche.

Priaulx pitted half an hour into the race, having fallen to fifth in class. The #91 Porsche took the GTE Pro lead from the #66 Ford at the 5:18 mark.

The Toyotas pitted from 1-2 at 5:14. Buemi led Conway out. Frederic Makowiecki (#91 Porsche) led Mucke by 2.7 sec and Christensen by 8.4 in GTE Pro. The race was officially declared wet but the teams continued to run on slick tires.

With 5:03 left Buemi led Conway by 2.8 sec and Brendon Hartley (#2 Porsche) by 8.3. Makowiecki pitted from the GTE Pro lead.

At 4:54 Lapierre led LMP2, 12.5 sec up on Senna and 15.5 ahead of Matthieu Vaxiviere in the #28 TDS Racing Oreca. Conway passed Buemi for the overall lead two minutes later. Buemi retook the top spot just before pitting at 4:25. Anthony Davidson took over behind the wheel. The #7 came in the next lap, Conway complaining of problems in the car’s rear end and Kobayashi getting into the cockpit.

The #98 Aston Martin remained on point in GTE Am. Mucke pitted from the GTE Pro lead with 4:04 to go, Billy Johnson taking over. Two hours into the race the #8 Toyota (Davidson) led the #2 Porsche (Timo Bernhard) by 4.8 sec and the #1 Porsche by 17 sec. The #36 led LMP2 by 29 sec over the #38, with the #97 Aston Martin out front in GTE Pro.

Davidson continued to lead at the halfway point, followed by Earl Bamber in the #2 Porsche and former Audi champion Andre Lotterer making his Porsche debut in the #1. Menezes continued to lead LMP2 by a large margin over the #38 entry. Vaxiviere, however, was posted the classes fastest laps from third.

Johnson lead the #51 Ferrari by 25 sec in GTE Pro. Richard Lietz ran third in the #91 Porsche. The #98 Aston continued to lead GTE Am, but was under increasing pressure from Cairoli in the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche. Spirit of Race ran third.

Lopez crashed the #7 Toyota in the fourth hour, bringing out the safety car and rebunching the field. The #8 Toyota and #2 Porsche fought until the finish for the win, Buemi passing Hartley with 12 min remaining to seal the victory. The #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing LMP2 won in class, the first Chinese-owned team to do so in FIA WEC competition. The #31 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca 07-Gibson (Julien Canal, Nicolas Prost, Bruno Senna) finished 20 sec back.

The #67 Ford took advantage of good pit timing to get back into the fray under the safety car and took the victory over the #51 Ferrari (James Calado, Alessandro Per Guidi), and #91 Porsche. The #98 Aston and #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari took each other out in the final lap, giving the #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari (Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sewa, Matt Griffin) the win in its GTE Am debut.

 

 

Posted in: Sports