Toyota Gazoo Racing took their third win in a row today with a 1-2 at the 6 Hours of Silverstone.
Although the weather may have been a disappointment the race lived up to its usual thrills and spills, especially at the start!
The No. 17 SMP Racing of Stephane Sarrazin caused an incident when he slid into the No. 3 Rebellion Racing of Mathias Beche on the first lap, which rippled its way down the pack sending cars left right and centre. Fortunately there was no serious damage to report of but Sarrazin was awarded a drive through penalty for his troubles!
With a gap of 19 seconds over its sister car, the No. 8 Toyota of Sebastien Buemi (CHE), Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) and Fernando Alonso (SPN) took the chequered flag completing 197 laps. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez in the No. 7 TS050-Hybrid finished 4 laps ahead of third placed Rebellion Racing of Mathias Beche, Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes.
Mechanical problems for the No. 11 SMP Racing caused the first retirement of the race only 43 minutes in. At the hands of Mikhail Aleshin the BR1 started pouring smoke out and the team ordered Mikhail to stop the car – it was a shame for the many Jenson Button fans that had turned up to cheer the Brit on.
Already 7 minutes down due to having a new floor fitted, the Bykolles Racing ENSO CLM suffered a strange incident when the track went full course yellow just after 2 hours in – whether he didn’t realise the cars had slowed down to FCY speed, Rene Binder found himself making contact with the barrier just before the bridge down the Wellington Straight and ending up facing the wrong way ending the race for the CLM.
Jackie Chan DC Racing scored a 1-2 class finish with the ‘Mighty 38’ of Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stephane Richelmi holding station over the No. 37 of Jazeman Jaafar, Wrion Tan and Nabil Jeffri. The No. 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut of Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Pierre Thiriet was third.
There were the usual close battles throughout the LMGTE Pro and Am field. Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado brought the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO home to take the top step, 14 seconds ahead of the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz. Making it three different manufacturers on the podium was the Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK No. 67 of Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx.
Just before the halfway mark the Safety Car came out so marshals could clear debris from the track after contact occurred between Davide Rigon’s AF Corse No. 71 Ferrari 488 GTE EVO and the remaining SMP Racing No. 17 of Egior Orudzhev coming into the right hander at Village. The 488 was left with a rear wheel puncture which caused significant further damage on its way back round to the pits. After repairs by the crew the prancing horse was back out on track but a number of laps down.
A full course yellow was seen again at a little after 4 hours of racing for the stricken BMW Team MTEK No. 81 of Antonio Felix De Costa after he suffered a right side puncture and then what looked to be overheating – a very smokey M8 GTE eventually pulled over at Becketts.
LMGTE Am was won by the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing 911 RSR of Christian Ried, Julien Andlauer and Matt Campbell having completed 168 laps. Second place was the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage of Salih Yoluc, Jonny Adam and Charles Eastwood. In third place, having taken the position on the final lap, was the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti.
The next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season sees the WEC family head off to Japan on 14 October for the 6 Hours of Fuji.
In a late decision from the FIA technical team, both Toyotas were disqualified from the race due to non-conformity of the skid block post race.
Update from the FIA WEC:
Toyota Gazoo Racing withdraw appeal against Silverstone exclusions
Rebellion Racing takes first WEC non-hybrid victory since 2012
Rebellion Racing has been confirmed as the final winner of the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the third round of the WEC Super Season.
The No.3 Rebellion R13 Gibson, driven by Mathias Beche, Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes, becomes the first privateer entry to win an FIA World Endurance Championship race overall and the first non-hybrid to claim overall victory since Spa 2012.
The final results and championship classifications show a 1-2 for Rebellion Racing, with SMP Racing claiming third place.
The confirmation comes after the withdrawal by Toyota Gazoo Racing of its intention to appeal against exclusion from the race following post-race technical inspections which revealed non-conformity of the regulations of the cars’ skid block.
The No.8 TS050 HYBRID of Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso originally took the chequered flag ahead of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López in the second-placed Toyota but both cars have been disqualified from the results of the race.