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Toyota Out Front in Incident-Filled First Hour at Silverstone

Audi crashes, Porsche runs into trouble in opening hour at Silverstone…

Photo: FIA WEC

Photo: FIA WEC

Toyota Racing runs 1-2 following an incident-filled and rain-soaked opening hour of the Six Hours of Silverstone.

The No. 8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi currently holds a 35-second lead over the sister No. 7 entry of Alex Wurz, in what’s been a troubled start for both Audi and Porsche.

Pole-sitter Wurz led from the green, in what started in damp, but dry conditions. However, chaos ensued once rain came shortly past the half-hour mark.

Lucas Di Grassi lost control of his No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro in the tricky conditions and slammed hard into the barriers. The Brazilian driver eventually got his LMP1-H car back to the pits, but it has yet to re-appear from the garage.

Moments later, the No. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani crawled to the pits with the left-front wheel missing, resulting in a 16-minute delay in the garage for suspension repairs.

Up front, the No. 2 Audi of Andre Lotterer stayed out on slicks but the gamble didn’t pay off as he was passed by Buemi for the lead, before the 2012 FIA WEC champion spun on his own just past the one-hour mark.

It promoted the No. 20 Porsche of Timo Bernhard to third overall, ahead of the No. 12 Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60 Toyota of Nick Heidfeld, who has capitalized on early race issues for the factory entires to run in fourth in the changing conditions.

LMP2 is led by the No. 48 KCMG Oreca 03 Nissan of Tsugio Matsuda, ahead of the class pole-sitting No. 26 G-Drive Racing Morgan-Nissan of Olivier Pla, who lost the lead just as the rain came.

The two SMP Racing Oreca-Nissans, the only other two LMP2 cars in the slim four-car field, have both run into trouble, with Nic Minassian stopping on track and the sister entry of Kirill Ladygin making at least one trip to the garage.

Porsche Team Manthey holds control of GTE-Pro, with Fred Makowiecki enjoying a slim margin over the sister Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy.

The No. 98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Pedro Lamy paces GTE-Am, after early troubles for the class pole-sitting No. 81 AF Corse Ferrari of Sam Bird, as well as a spin by the No. 61 entry of Luis Perez Companc.

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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