Silverstone WEC: Toyota survives rain scare to take 1-2
Toyota dominated a rain-hit opening round of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship season at Silverstone, as Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi took victory in the #7 car.
Both of the Japanese manufacturer's TS050 Hybrids finished a lap clear of the field in the four-hour contest, with the #7 crew leading home the sister #8 car shared by Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and team newcomer Brendon Hartley by just under two seconds.
The two Toyotas swapped the lead multiple times throughout, with the first on-track move coming when Kobayashi passed Hartley just shy of the halfway mark on track after a rain shower.
Hartley repassed Kobayashi just before the penultimate round of stops, but the #7 was back ahead when Nakajima pitted to hand over the #8 car to Hartley, a lap before Kobayashi made way for Lopez in the sister car.
Lopez then built a buffer of some 10s in the latter stages, although Nakajima reduced that to less than half a second in the final half-hour before dutifully completing a 1-2.
Rebellion's #3 crew of Loic Duval, Pipo Derani and Nathanael Berthon completed the podium despite picking up two penalties for technical infringements, although the Swiss squad did enjoy two spells in the lead.
The first of these came after an early full-course yellow period triggered by the #6 Ginetta shedding its right-rear wheel. Both Toyotas pitted a lap later than the Rebellions, just as the FCY ended, allowing both Rebellions through into a short-lived 1-2.
The arrival of rain midway through the second hour shuffled the order again, as the Toyotas initially tried to brave it on slicks while the Rebellions both came in to change to wets.
At one stage the Toyotas were losing 15 seconds per lap to the Rebellions, and although the Japanese cars were able to take on wets without losing the lead, a subsequent safety car period - a result of a coming-together between Oliver Jarvis in the #6 Ginetta and Miguel Molina in the #71 Ferrari at Becketts - closed the pack up again.
The #3 Rebellion jumped back into the lead by coming in for slicks a lap earlier, but once again was powerless to prevent the Toyotas from getting by at the following restart.
Derani had already fallen some 20s down when the #3 car was given a stop-and-go penalty for a fuel flow infringement, before it was hit with another stop-and-go for the same offence in the final half hour.
Rebellion's #1 car, shared by Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato, had already been ruled out a podium by a slow three-minute stop, the result of Nato knocking over his mechanics, but was set to finish fourth before a late five-minute visit to the garage to fix a power steering problem dropped it to fifth in LMP1 behind the lead Ginetta.
Charlie Robertson, Egor Orudzhev and Ben Hanley enjoyed a largely smooth run in the best of the AER-powered G60-LT-P1s, albeit delayed by an off for Hanley on his out-lap at Luffield, narrowly overcoming the best of the LMP2 cars for fourth overall, four laps down.
The #6 Ginetta, which had already made multiple trips to the garage after losing its wheel early on, continued after Jarvis's incident and finished 17 laps down.
LMP2: Cool Racing wins on WEC debut
Victory in LMP2 and fifth overall went to newcomer outfit Cool Racing, whose #42 Oreca 07 was shared only by Nicolas Lapierre and Antonin Borga after Alexandre Coigny withdrew following a crash in Saturday's European Le Mans Series race.
Job van Uitert had built a sizeable advantage just shy of the halfway point in the #29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca, but the second safety car period allowed the Cool Racing car to close right in, shortly after which Lapierre passed for the lead.
The TDS-run RTN car then faded when Frits van Eerd took over from van Uitert for the final hour, and in the end the Dutch gentleman driver was pipped to second by Toyota LMP1 reserve driver Thomas Laurent in the #36 Signatech Alpine Oreca.
Laurent, Andre Negrao and Pierre Ragues ended up 49 seconds down on the class-winning Cool Racing car, and two seconds clear of the RTN Oreca shared by van Eerd, van Uitert and Giedo van der Garde, who completed an all-Michelin podium in LMP2.
Best of the Goodyear runners was the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca in fourth, while United Autosports' WEC debut ended after just a handful of minutes after a suspected electrical issue left Paul di Resta stranded on track.
GTE: Porsche 1-2 with all-new car
Porsche's brand new 911 RSR-19 took victory in its first-ever race outing, as Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz led reigning class champions Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre in a 1-2 finish for the Weissach marque in the GTE Pro class.
Both Porsche crews gained considerable time over their opponents in the wet middle phase of the race, but their advantage was lost in the second safety car period, allowing the sole surviving #51 Ferrari 488 GTE of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi back into contention after an early puncture appeared to ruin its chances.
Pier Guidi picked off both Porsches to retake the lead after the restart, only to fall behind in the next pitstop cycle, and was challenging Christensen again when he served a drive-through penalty for overtaking under the safety car.
That meant the lead Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin was able to take the final podium spot, while Pier Guidi and Calado had to be content with fourth.
Ferrari did however take honours in GTE Am, with class returnee Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and WEC rookie Nicklas Nielsen taking the win in the #83 AF Corse Ferrari.
The trio finished a lap ahead of the works Aston Martin shared by Paul Dalla Lana, Darren Turner and Ross Gunn, while the MR Racing Ferrari of Motoaki Ishikawa, Kei Cozzolino and Olivier Beretta rounded out the class podium.
|1||7|| Mike Conway |
Jose Maria Lopez
|Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LMP1||129||4:00'57.709|
|2||8|| Sébastien Buemi |
|Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LMP1||129||4:00'59.610|
|3||3|| Nathanael Berthon |
|4||5|| Charles Robertson |
|5||42|| Nicolas Lapierre |
|6||36|| Thomas Laurent |
|7||29|| Frits van Eerd |
Giedo van der Garde
Job Van Uitert
|8||37|| Ho-Pin Tung |
|9||38|| Roberto Gonzalez |
Antonio Felix da Costa
|10||1|| Bruno Senna |
|11||47|| Roberto Lacorte |
|12||33|| Mark Patterson |
|13||91|| Gianmaria Bruni |
|Porsche 911 RSR - 19||LMGTE PRO||115||4:01'15.704|
|14||92|| Michael Christensen |
|Porsche 911 RSR - 19||LMGTE PRO||115||4:01'19.506|
|15||97|| Alex Lynn |
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE PRO||115||4:01'21.990|
|16||51|| James Calado |
Alessandro Pier Guidi
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE PRO||115||4:01'31.758|
|17||95|| Marco Sorensen |
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE PRO||114||4:01'29.20|
|18||83|| François Perrodo |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE AM||114||4:02'44.660|
|19||98|| Paul Dalla Lana |
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE AM||113||4:01'08.923|
|20||70|| Motoaki Ishikawa |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE AM||113||4:01'19.885|
|21||86|| Michael Wainwright |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||113||4:01'24.669|
|22||77|| Christian Ried |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||113||4:01'32.278|
|23||56|| Egidio Perfetti |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||113||4:01'41.570|
|24||90|| Salih Yoluc |
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE AM||113||4:02'09.221|
|25||62|| Bonamy Grimes |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE AM||113||4:02'24.380|
|26||54|| Thomas Flohr |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE AM||113||4:02'43.473|
|27||57|| Ben Keating |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||112||4:00'59.253|
|28||6|| Michael Simpson |
|29||88|| Thomas Preining |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||111||4:02'00.671|
|71|| Davide Rigon |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE PRO||54||1:54'41.638|
|22|| Philip Hanson |
Paul di Resta
|View full results|
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