Porsche Team Manthey kicked off its FIA World Endurance Championship effort with a 1-2 GTE-Pro class victory in the FIA WEC Six Hours of Silverstone, while Aston Martin Racing took top honors in GTE-Am.
The No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR of Marco Holzer, Fred Makowiecki and Richard Lietz gave Porsche its first win in the championship since winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its first attempt with the 991-based GTE car.
Porsche dominated the race, but the it was only decided in the final hour when the weather deteriorated and the safety car was scrambled with just under 40 minutes remaining.
The No. 91 Porsche of Patrick Pilet, Jörg Bergmeister and Nick Tandy had been in the lead for the majority of the time, but as the safety car came out Pilet came in straight away, handing the lead to Makowiecki in the No. 92 car.
Race director Eduardo Freitas decided to call it a day with 26 minutes remaining, confirming the dream result for the German manufacturer.
It marked Makowiecki’s first win in his debut with the factory, while Holzer’s maiden win as well with the Olaf Manthey-led squad after spending the last two seasons in America.
Aston Martin Racing’s Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke finished in third place, with the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 still on the lead lap, but well behind the two factory Porsches as the red flag was shown.
The pole-sitting No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander came home in fourth, after losing time with a stop-and-go penalty for overtaking under yellows and a brief fire in the pits for the defending class champions.
In GTE-Am, Aston Martin Racing secured a 1-2 class finish, with the all-Danish No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage v8 of Kristian Poulsen, David Heinemeier Hansson and Nicki Thiim taking top honors.
Thiim passed teammate Christoffer Nygaard about an hour before the end, benefitting from the late-race red flag as they likely would have had to make a stop for a splash of fuel.
The No. 98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Christoffer Nygaard finished in second, followed by the GTE Am pole-sitter, the No. 81 AF Corse Ferrari. Stephen Wyatt, Michele Rugolo and Sam Bird, which dropped out of contention after early setbacks.
Next up for the FIA WEC is the Six Hour of Spa, set for May 3-4.
RESULTS: Six Hours of Silverstone