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Silverstone Post-Race Notebook

Sportscar365’s post-race notebook after the 4 Hours of Silverstone…

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

***Sunday marked Toyota Gazoo Racing’s third win at Silverstone and first from pole since 2012, allowing the team to take its own record-best six wins in a row. Remarkably, it was Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi’s first win on European soil.

***All three drivers’ names have been added to the RAC Tourist Trophy, while Lopez became the first Argentinian to win the prestigious award which dates back to 1905.

***Cool Racing is now the fourth different team with which Nico Lapierre has taken a WEC overall or class win, following on from Toyota, KCMG and Signatech Alpine. It came in Cool’s debut race, while Lapierre and Antonin Borga become the first two-driver lineup to win in LMP2 since Jota’s Simon Dolan and Sam Hancock at Spa in 2012.

***Alexandre Coigny, who was unable to compete because of a hip injury sustained in an accident during Saturday’s European Le Mans Series race, joined Lapierre and Borga for the podium celebrations.

***In GTE-Am, Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo took their first win since Silverstone in 2016 and their third as teammates, while their new co-driver Nicklas Nielsen won on his series debut.

***Perrodo says the competition in GTE-Am is a “huge step up” since he last raced in the class and won the title in 2016, a season in which he only finished off the podium once.

“At least, easily, half of the cars are in contention for a win, let alone a podium,” he told Sportscar365. “We had a little bit of luck but you create your own luck. Other drivers made mistakes, and maybe [our] pace was not so much there but I didn’t make a single mistake which is the number one goal. I think it will be an exciting season.”

***The Rebellion Racing mechanic that Norman Nato hit with the No. 1 R13 Gibson in the pit lane was taken to a hospital in Northampton, having broken the big toe on his left foot.

***Rebellion’s No. 3 car was given a penalty for its third offense of exceeding the maximum instantaneous fuel flow, meanwhile. The car had to serve a five-second stop/hold penalty, for what was initially communicated as just a “technical” infringement.

***Nathanael Berthon, one of the drivers in Rebellion’s No. 3 car, says the team’s pace was “fine” in both wet and dry conditions but the penalty unraveled the race for himself and co-drivers Pipo Derani and Loic Duval.

“We are happy to finish third, but for us, it was impossible to finish better than third today,” Berthon told Sportscar365. “There is still too much of a gap between the Toyotas and us. The engineers had a good strategy and we had more or less no issues on [our] car, so we were quite happy with that.”

***United Autosports’ Oreca 07 Gibson retired early on after a wiring loom fault shut down the car’s engine on the second lap. “On the exit of Stowe I heard a popping sound and then the car immediately lost all drive,”  explained Paul Di Resta. “I did a power cycle but the engine wouldn’t fire up and there was also a little smoke in the cockpit.”

***The Anglo-American team had a mixed weekend for the debut of its Oreca and its full-season WEC entry. It consistently finished in the top two of every session until the race but also suffered another electrical issue with its Oreca in Saturday’s European Le Mans Series race.

***It’s understood that United is pushing to transfer both of its ELMS entries to Orecas for the next round at Spa, after it ran an Oreca and a Ligier each on Saturday.

***Racing Team Nederland scored its first ever WEC podium, courtesy of Giedo van der Garde, Frits van Eerd and Job van Uitert. The team’s previous best result was fifth, which it achieved in five races last season.

***Mahindra Racing team principal Dilbagh Gill was spotted in the paddock on Sunday. The ABB FIA Formula E Championship team has its base in Banbury, around 15 miles from the circuit.

***Davide Rigon was irked by his co-driver Miguel Molina being hit into the wall by Oliver Jarvis, telling WEC pit lane reporter Louise Beckett: “We don’t deserve this… I am very disappointed with Jarvis, I think I’m not going to talk with him anymore.”

***Rebellion CEO Calim Bouhadra ran into Cool Racing’s hospitality unit after the race, ‘stole’ two trophies, and brought them back into his own team’s hospitality. He soon returned the trophies.

***Aston Martin Racing technical director Dan Sayers explained how the team’s No. 95 Vantage GTE became the only finishing GTE-Pro car to fall off the class lead lap during the bout of rainfall in the second hour: “With the decision to come back in and change for wets, the No. 95 had just gone down the pit lane, so it had an extra lap to go around,” he said.

***David Richards, who is the chairman of AMR’s operating partner Prodrive and of Motorsport UK, waved the green flag to set the cars on their formation lap.

***A period of silent reflection was held before the race out of respect to Anthoine Hubert, who was killed in an FIA Formula 2 race at Spa on Saturday.

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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