Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The first free practice session of the 2017 WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Fracorchamps, round 2 of the FIA World Endurance Championship, saw the no7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway top the timing sheets with a 1m57.976 lap but only by 0.036 seconds ahead of Brendon Hartley in the no2 Porsche 919 Hybrid. 

Conway will be driving this weekend with Kamui Kobayashi as Jose-Maria Lopez will sit out the race in Belgium following his crash at Silverstone.

In LMP2 class was topped by Gustavo Menezes in the Signatech Alpine Matmut A470, the American’s time just 0.091s ahead of Alex Lynn in the no26 G Drive Racing Oreca-Gibson.

Ford continue to lead the way in LMGTE Pro with Andy Priaulx taking the top spot in the Ford GT with a time of 2m16.802, just ahead of the no91 Porsche 911 RSR. 

Porsche take a 1-2 in the LMGTE Am class with Matteo CAiroli taking the top spot in the no77 Dempsey-Proton Racing 911 ahead of the no86 Gulf Racing Porsche of Ben Barker.


Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Toyota will start tomorrow’s 6 Hours of Silverstone will both cars on the front row for the opening round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship.  The no7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid set the early pace when Kamui Kobayashi set a blistering 1m36.793 on his first flying lap.

The Japanese driver handed over to Mike Conway and the British driver set about consolidating the top spot only to have his first flying lap deleting for abusing track limits at Copse.

Conway duly did a legal lap to set a two lap average of 1m37.304 and  claim the extra point for pole position.  The time was 0.2 seconds ahead of the no8 Toyota of Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima. 

The two Porsche 919s were 3rd and 4th with the no1 Porsche of Neel Jani and Nick Tandy the quicker of the two entries.

The no26 G Driver Racing Oreca-Gibson of Alex Lynn and Pierre Thiriet will start tomorrow’s race at the head of the LMP2 grid with an average lap time of 1m44.387, 0.05 seconds ahead of the no36 Signatech Alpine of Matt Rao and Nicolas Lapierre.                                                                                                                                                 

In the LMGTE qualifying session the no67 Ford of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell was the pick of the GTE Pro field as the two British drivers used their home track advantage to deliver the first championship point of the 2017 season for the Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK squad.

The no71 Ferrari of Davide Rigon and Sam Bird were second quickest, 0.8 seconds behind the pole sitters and 0.1 seconds ahead of the no95 Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen.  The two Porsche’s struggled on their WEC race weekend debut and finished 7th and 8th in class.

The LMGTE Am pole was claimed by Aston Martin with the no98 Vantage of Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana taking the honours, 1.1 seconds ahead of the no54 Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 of Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The names of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima and Toyota will be added to the legendary roll of honour on the base of the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy as the Japanese squad won a thrilling 6 Hours of Silverstone to take the lead in the FIA World Endurance Championship title race.

Buemi, who was chasing down the leading Porsche of Brendon Hartley after the last pitstops of the race, was a man on a mission as he quickly closed down the 8 second deficit.  With just 12 minutes left on the clock the Swiss driver dived down the inside of the New Zealander, a move that had the large Silverstone crowd holding their collective breaths.  Once clear, Buemi opened up a six second gap by the chequered flag. 

Porsche were second and third while the no7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 finished 4th in class but 23rd overall after Jose Maria Lopez spun off in the damp conditions and hit the barriers hard at Copse.  The Argentine managed to bring the badly damaged car back to the pits and after a mammoth effort by the Toyota mechanics Mike Conway rejoined the track to bring the car home. The British driver did take away the small consolation of setting a new lap record for LMP1 at Silverstone with a 1m39.656 on lap 4 of the race, beating the previous record by 0.647 seconds.

While Toyota’s Davidson, Nakajima and Buemi lead the FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship, Porsche lead the manufacturers championship with 33 points to Toyota’s 26.5 points thanks to their two podium places.

The no67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT of Andy Priaulx, Pipo Derani and Harry Tincknell took the top spot on the LMGTE Pro podium.  Tincknell took the chequered flag 15 seconds ahead of the no51 AF Corse Ferrari F488 of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, with the no91 Porsche GT Team 911 of Richard Lietz and Fred Makowiecki in third. 

The leading Ford hit problems early on in the race when the right hand gull wing door came open, necessitating an unscheduled trip to the pits.  The same problem reoccurred in the final laps of the race but Tincknell managed to get to the finish line without any problems. 

The no92 Porsche 911 ended its race on lap 96 when smoke was seen coming from the engine bay and Kevin Estre parked up for the marshals to extinguish the small fire.

Ford lead the GT FIA World Endurance Manufacturers Championship with 38 points to Ferrari’s 28 points, with Porsche and Aston Martin on 16 and 14 points repectively.

In LMP2 it was victory for the no38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07-Gibson of Ho Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent, Jarvis taking the chequered flag in 4th place overall and 19 seconds ahead of the no31 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca of Julien Canal, Nico Prost and Bruno Senna, with the no28 TDS Racing Oreca in third.

The no36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470-Gibson had led for a good portion of the race but dropped back down the field before recovering to finish 4th.

The LMGTE Am class ended with drama on the final lap of the race.  Matt Griffin in the no61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari 488 and Pedro Lamy in the no98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage were enjoying a door to door tussle for the lead of the class before Griffin had to make a splash and dash for fuel, dropping the Irishman back to third. 

Miguel Molina in the no54 Spirit of Race Ferrari had moved into second and had caught the leading Aston Martin on the final lap.  In a cloud of tyre smoke the pair clashed at Stowe and the surprised Matt Griffin went through to take the chequered flag for his fellow drivers Weng Sun Mok and Keita Sawa and also the team from Singapore on their WEC debut.

The next race will be Round 2 at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on Saturday 6 May.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The first free practice session of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season saw the no8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 of 2014 champion Sebastien Buemi head the timing sheets with a 1m40.104 lap, 0.7 seconds ahead of the no2 Porsche 919 hybrid of Brendon Hartley.

The new FIA World Endurance GT Championship also gets underway this weekend and Aston Martin has thrown down the gauntlet to their rivals at Ferrari, Ford and Porsche with Richie Stanaway heading the table with a 1m59.110 lap of the 5.9km Silverstone circuit.  The New Zealander’s best time was 0.3 seconds ahead of the two Ford GTs, with Billy Johnson one hundredth of a second ahead of Andy Priaulx in the sister car.

The no13 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca 07-Gibson was the fastest of the nine LMP2 competitors. Mathias Beche set a 1m45.913 lap, 0.2 seconds ahead of the no28 TDS Racing Oreca of Matthieu Vaxiviere and with the no37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca of Alex Brundle in third.

Aston Martin also took the top spot in LMGTE Am with Pedro Lamy setting a 1m59.342 in the no98 Vantage to set the second fastest time overall in the two LMGTE classes and 0.9 seconds ahead of the no86 Gulf Racing Porsche of Ben Barker and the no77 Proton Competition Porsche of Matteo Cairoli.