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Silverstone Post-Race Notebook

Sportscar365’s post-race notebook from Six Hours of Silverstone…

Photo: Joao Filipe/AdrenalMedia

***Toyota’s double disqualification from Sunday’s Six Hours of Silverstone was not the first exclusion for a LMP1 car due to a skid-block infringement at the UK circuit, as the No. 7 Audi R18 of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler lost their win in 2016 due to a similar technical issue. 

***The track, however, has since been resurfaced and new curbing added, which Toyota claims contributed to both TS050 Hybrids failing post-race skid deflection tests. It’s unclear if the Japanese manufacturer will appeal the ruling.

***The No. 3 Rebellion R13 Gibson, which inherits the win, becomes the first privateer entry to win a FIA World Endurance Championship race overall and the first non-hybrid to claim outright victory since Spa 2012, when Audi’s R18 TDI of Romain Dumas, Loic Duval and Marc Gene took top honors.

***Audi had started the inaugural WEC season with hybrid and non-hybrid versions of its R18, before switching exclusively to the e-tron quattro post-Le Mans.

***Thomas Laurent, 20, becomes the youngest-ever overall winner in the WEC, while co-driver Gustavo Menezes is the first American to win a world championship round outright in its current iteration.

***Menezes, Laurent and Mathias Beche, who finished third overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, move into second in the World Drivers’ Championship, just two points behind Toyota’s Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi.

***With the 1-2 finish on Sunday, Rebellion, meanwhile, is now just 3 points away from Toyota Gazoo Racing in the Teams’ World Championship.

***The ByKolles Racing ENSO CLM P1/01 NISMO experienced gear shift issues before Rene Binder spun the car out of Sunday’s race. It spent 25 minutes in its garage spread across two visits before returning to the track having lost multiple laps, while Binder’s rotation under full course yellow conditions resulted in the car’s retirement.

***Local hero Jenson Button didn’t get to drive on Sunday as Mikhail Aleshin was forced to retire the No. 11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 AER in the opening hour after smoke came billowing out of the LMP1 non-hybrid contender, which showed improved form to the Rebellions all weekend.

***Nicolas Lapierre scored podiums in both LMP2 races this weekend. The reigning Le Mans class champion finished second for DragonSpeed in Saturday’s four-hour European Le Mans Series round, before taking third in Sunday’s WEC race with Signatech Alpine co-drivers Pierre Thiriet and Andre Negrao.

***Ho-Pin Tung, Stephane Richelmi and Gabriel Aubry have closed the gap in the LMP2 title race to four points the Signatech Alpine trio following a 1-2 class finish for Jackie Chan DC Racing.

***Richelmi said the second Full Course Yellow helped reel in its sister car for the win. “The safety car was at the worst time,” he said. “I had to box for refuelling but we could only refuel for five seconds, so we had to refuel again. Fortunately, we had more luck with a full course yellow just after. It was perfect timing to make a driver change and we took some time out of the No. 37.”

***LMP2 spec engine supplier Gibson reached a milestone over the weekend, having completed 1 million kilometers of track use since the 4.2-liter V8 powerplant’s debut in September 2016.

***GTE-Pro class winner James Calado said he and Alessandro Pier Guidi relied on strategy rather than pace to claim their first victory of the season. “We just didn’t quite have the pace to compete with the Porsche and the Ford, even the Aston now is up there,” said Calado. “Saving fuel and hoping for a full course yellow was our only hope. People would say we were lucky but we did it on purpose.”

***Calado added that the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE’s run didn’t go without its hitches, either. ‘It wasn’t so straightforward – Alessandro lost 10 seconds due to a fuel issue,” he explained. “So we lost time there, but the team did an amazing strategic job. The car was at its full potential and we were pushing like crazy to keep the Porsches behind us.”

***McLaren junior Nyck de Vries said he found negotiating traffic “peaceful” on his sports car debut. The 23-year-old finished eighth overall with Racing Team Nederland LMP2 co-drivers Giedo van der Garde and Frits van Eerd. “Doing the driver changes quickly and traffic took some time to get comfortable with”, he told Sportscar365. “It was different but quite peaceful because in sprint racing you’re directly battling your opponents all the time.”

***After the race, the WEC teams started packing containers ready for the overseas rounds at Fuji, Shanghai and Sebring. Containers were stored on the Stowe Circuit inside the main Silverstone track ahead of being sea-freighted to Japan for round four in October.

***Former Head of Audi Motorsport and current ACO advisor Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich served as the race’s honorary starter, having waved the cars off the grid. David Richards, in his capacity as chairman of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), meanwhile, presented trophies on the podium.

***The reported weekend attendance was 60,240 people, marking a significant increase from last year’s event, held in April, which was at 50,200.

***Roman Rusinov, who claimed his third consecutive European Le Mans Series victory of the season on Saturday, told Sportscar365 that he could return to WEC competition in the 1000 Miles of Sebring in March.

***Sunday’s race was the first WEC event Rusinov missed this season, after claiming LMP2 class victory as a wildcard entry at Spa. Rusinov, Andrea Pizzitola and Jean-Eric Vergne also took top honors at Le Mans but were later excluded for a refueling violation.

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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