Toyota Gazoo Racing’s trio of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose-Maria Lopez took the first win of FIA WEC Season 8 after an enthralling 4 Hours of Silverstone which saw sunshine, rain and two safety car periods.
It is the third win for the Japanese squad at Silverstone and despite Mike Conway having won nine WEC races, it marks the first victory for the British driver at his home event.
Mike Conway – No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 HYBRID said: “It’s great to win here at Silverstone as it is a home race and I have been trying a few times so it feels great to have finally done it. It was a tight race with the sister car as ever and we lost some time in the pits and lost position so it was difficult to recover. Kamui has a tough stint with the weather conditions but did a stellar job and Jose pulled out some really good times out and got a gap, so a great job by the guys who have been lacking a bit of sleep so a big thank you to them. It [the RAC Tourist Trophy] is a lovely trophy and one I have always wanted to win as it has had some great previous winners so it’s pretty cool.”
Toyota claimed the LMP1 runners-up spot with the two TS050 Hybrid LMP1 No. 7 and No. 8 crews separated by just under 2 seconds as they crossed the finish line. The two Toyotas swapped positions on several occasions, with Kobayashi passing Brendon Hartley at the race’s half-way point following a brief spell of rain.
The third podium spot was taken by the No. 3 Rebellion Racing R13 – Gibson car with Nathanael Berthon, Pipo Derani and Loïc Duval at the wheel. Rebellion’s sister No. 1 car finished fifth after losing time due to a puncture.
Team LNT’s No. 5 and No. 6 Ginetta G60-LT-P1 AER cars were fourth and sixth respectively. The opening hour saw plenty of drama for the British squad as the No. 6 car lost its right-rear wheel before returning to the pits again shortly after.
The highly-competitive LMP2 category which has a total of eight teams for Season 8 – including four brand new squads – saw newcomers Cool Racing take a win on their WEC debut.
The victory was made even more impressive considering the Oreca 07 Gibson car lost one of its crew after team-mate Alexandre Coigny was forced to sit out due to an injury he sustained during yesterday’s ELMS race.
This left Nicolas Lapierre and Antonin Borga to bring the No. 42 car home 49.311s clear of runners-up Signatech Alpine Elf in the No. 36 Alpine A470 – Gibson car driven by Thomas Laurent, André Negrão and Pierre Ragues.
Nicolas Lapierre – Cool Racing ORECA 07-Gibson said: “It was very chaotic for us this race because first of all we only had two of us after Alexandre [Coigny’s] crash yesterday so it was hard to leave him on the side after this unfortunate crash yesterday. So we had to keep the whole team focused and motivated. We had two punctures and a drive through [penalty] in the end but it was a great strategy from the team but it was hard and we fought back and took the lead again and we could open the gap and win the first race for the team so it is a wonderful end for us because last night we were sad for Alex’s accident.”
Third place finishers Racing Team Nederland made up of Frits Van Eerd, Giedo Van Der Garde and Job Van Uitert had a strong advantage at the race’s half-way point in the No. 29 Oreca but the race’s second safety car allowed Cool Racing to take the lead where they remained for the rest of the race.
The No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry was fourth overall, the team using Goodyear’s tyres with the American tyre manufacturer also supplying JOTA and High Class Racing who finished 5th and 7th respectively.
United Autosports' WEC debut got off to an unfortunate start after the British team were forced to retire early in the race due to a mechanical issue with Paul di Resta at the wheel. Elsewhere WEC debutants Cetilar Racing finished sixth in a Dallara P217 – Gibson.
The Porsche GT Team triumphed in the LMGTE Pro class as the No.91 car of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz led home stablemates Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre in the No.92 911 RSR. It was a well-judged debut victory for the new-look Porsche 911 RSR-19 and ensured that Porsche took its first victory at Silverstone since 2014.
Richard Lietz – No.91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19 said: “It was a quite interesting four hours and it is amazing how much can happen. We had all kinds of conditions, slick tyres in the rain and then quite dry conditions so it was quite intense for us but we did ok and it brought us in to the position for victory when we made the driver change. I think for the new car we learned a lot so for sure we have to analyse the data and to come back stronger because pace wise we are not 100% there but strategy and pit work was fantastic and P1 and P2 for the new car is fantastic for Porsche and I am happy for the people in Weissach.”
Bruni and Lietz gained the upper hand in the wet second hour but that was clawed back by their opposition once dry running and the second Safety Car period closed the field up once again.
Aston Martin claimed third position at their home event with the No. 97 car of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin capitalising on a late-race penalty for No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari which finished fourth.
The No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo led the race from pole position but was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop due to a puncture. James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi fought back valiantly but were also hit with a further penalty.
The sister Prancing Horse entry of Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina was in contention until the third hour when an on-track altercation with the No. 6 Team LNT Ginetta at the ultra-quick Becketts corner ended its race.
The second of the Aston Martin Racing Vantage AMR entries driven by Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen took fifth position in the final classification.
In LMGTE Am AF Corse made up for some of its LMGTE Pro class disappointment as the No. 83 AF Corse entered Ferrari 488 GTE Evo took a well-judged victory. Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Nicklas Nielsen claimed the win after taking the lead of the ultra-competitive class in the final hour.
Francois Perrodo – No.83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo said: “It is a very special day today because my last victory was here at Silverstone with Emmanuel [Collard] back in 2016 so it is a very nice feeling as ‘Manu’ has not driven for almost two years and you know that the GT cars are not that easy to master. It was hard to keep up with the leaders in the first stint but then Manu did a great job in the rain. Then Nicklas [Nielsen], who is our new silver driver, is brutally fast full stop!”
For Perrodo and Collard it was a repeat of their 2016 win at Silverstone, while Nielsen took a debut victory after making the move of the race with a courageous move around the outside of Ben Barker’s Gulf Racing Porsche at Stowe Corner.
Their victory was largely thanks not only to Nielsen’s skill but also the wet weather experience of Collard who ensured that the team took a comfortable win despite having to complete a Drive Through Penalty after being judged not to have slowed sufficiently when a Full Course Yellow period was announced.
The No. 98 Aston Martin Racing entry of Paul Dalla Lana, Darren Turner and Ross Gunn claimed second positionn ahead of the MR Racing Ferrari of Olivier Beretta, Motoaki Ishikawa and Kei Cozzolino.
Home heroes Gulf Racing looked set for a runners-up position until the final minutes of the race but were forced to pit ensuring they slipped down to fourth place. By Melissa Warren
1 #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing M. CONWAY / K. KOBAYASHI / J. LOPEZ Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 129 4:00:57.709 6 8 1:37.289 218.4
2 #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing S. BUEMI / K. NAKAJIMA / B. HARTLEY Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 129 4:00:59.610 1.901 1.901 6 8 1:37.349 218.2
3 #3 Rebellion Racing N. BERTHON / P. DERANI / L. DUVAL Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 M 128 4:02:35.108 1 Lap 1 Lap 8 9 1:38.410 215.9
4 #5 Team LNT C. ROBERTSON / B. HANLEY / E. ORUDZHEV Ginetta G60-LT-P1-AER LMP1 M 124 4:01:20.815 5 Laps 4 Laps 6 100 1:39.271 214.0
5 #42 Cool Racing N. LAPIERRE / A. BORGA Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 M 124 4:01:22.238 5 Laps 1.423 8 44 1:43.953 204.4
6 #36 Signatech Alpine ELF T. LAURENT / A. NEGRÃO / P. RAGUES Alpine A470 - Gibson LMP2 M 124 4:02:11.549 5 Laps 49.311 6 91 1:44.389 203.5
7 #29 Racing Team Nederland F. VAN EERD / G. VAN DER GARDE / J. VAN UITERT Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 M 124 4:02:13.971 5 Laps 2.422 6 9 1:43.404 205.4
8 #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing H. TUNG / G. AUBRY / W. STEVENS Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 G 124 4:02:21.210 5 Laps 7.239 6 71 1:44.028 204.2
9 #38 JOTA R. GONZALEZ / A. DA COSTA Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 G 124 4:02:21.695 5 Laps 0.485 7 111 1:44.179 203.9
10 #1 Rebellion Racing B. SENNA / G. MENEZES / N. NATO Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 M 123 4:02:12.702 6 Laps 1 Lap 7 9 1:38.490 215.7
11 #47 Cetilar Racing R. LACORTE / A. BELICCHI / G. SERNAGIOTTO Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 M 122 4:01:19.970 7 Laps 1 Lap 6 72 1:44.945 202.4
12 #33 High Class Racing M. PATTERSON / K. YAMASHITA / A. FJORDBACH Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 G 122 4:02:14.610 7 Laps 54.640 7 87 1:44.446 203.4
13 #91 Porsche GT Team G. BRUNI / R. LIETZ Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE Pro M 115 4:01:15.704 14 Laps 7 Laps 4 40 1:56.198 182.8
14 #92 Porsche GT Team M. CHRISTENSEN / K. ESTRE Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE Pro M 115 4:01:19.506 14 Laps 3.802 4 38 1:55.817 183.4 4:01:21.990 41 1:55.772 183.5
15 #97 Aston Martin Racing A. LYNN / M. MARTIN Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Pro M 115 14 Laps 2.484 5
16 #51 AF Corse J. CALADO / A. PIER GUIDI Ferrari F488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro M 115 4:01:31.758 14 Laps 9.768 6 43 1:55.903 183.3 4:01:29.200 68 1:55.900 183.3
17 #95 Aston Martin Racing M. SØRENSEN / N. THIIM Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Pro M 114 15 Laps 1 Lap 5
18 #83 AF Corse F. PERRODO / E. COLLARD / N. NIELSEN Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Am M 114 4:02:44.660 15 Laps1:15.460 5 101 1:56.952 181.6 4:01:08.923 110 1:56.983 181.6
19 #98 Aston Martin Racing P. DALLA LANA / D. TURNER / R. GUNN Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Am M 113 16 Laps 1 Lap 7
20 #70 MR Racing M. ISHIKAWA / O. BERETTA / K. COZZOLINO Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Am M 113 4:01:19.885 16 Laps 10.962 5 66 1:56.596 182.2
21 #86 Gulf Racing M. WAINWRIGHT / A. WATSON / B. BARKER Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 113 4:01:24.669 16 Laps 4.784 5 107 1:57.669 180.5
22 #77 Dempsey - Proton Racing C. RIED / M. CAMPBELL / R. PERA Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 113 4:01:32.278 16 Laps 7.609 5 110 1:57.301 181.1
23 #56 Team Project 1 E. PERFETTI / D. KOLKMANN / M. CAIROLI Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 113 4:01:41.570 16 Laps 9.292 5 64 1:56.916 181.7 4:02:09.221 75 1:56.520 182.3
24 #90 TF Sport S. YOLUC / C. EASTWOOD / J. ADAM Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Am M 113 16 Laps 27.651 5
25 #62 Red River Sport B. GRIMES / J. MOWLEM / C. HOLLINGS Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Am M 113 4:02:24.380 16 Laps 15.159 5 94 1:57.014 181.5
26 #54 AF Corse T. FLOHR / F. CASTELLACCI / G. FISICHELLA Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Am M 113 4:02:43.473 16 Laps 19.093 4 107 1:57.161 181.3
27 #57 Team Project 1 B. KEATING / F. FRAGA / J. BLEEKEMOLEN Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 112 4:00:59.253 17 Laps 1 Lap 5 64 1:56.969 181.6
28 #6 Team LNT M. SIMPSON / O. JARVIS / G. SMITH Ginetta G60-LT-P1-AER LMP1 M 112 4:01:35.831 17 Laps 36.578 9 9 1:39.180 214.2
29 #88 Dempsey - Proton Racing T. PREINING / G. GIRAUDI / R. SANCHEZ Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 111 4:02:00.671 18 Laps 1 Lap 5 107 1:57.395 181.0
#71 AF Corse D. RIGON / M. MOLINA Ferrari F488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro M 54 1:54:41.638 2 17 1:55.762 183.5
#22 United Autosports P. HANSON / F. ALBUQUERQUE / P. DI RESTA Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 M 2 3:52.039 0 2 2:02.553 173.3
Circuit Best Laps by Class
LMP1 Kamui KOBAYASHI 31/08/2019 1:35.992 221.3 Kph
LMP2 Job VAN UITERT 31/08/2019 1:40.850 210.6 Kph
LMGTE Pro Alessandro PIER GUIDI 31/08/2019 1:54.019 186.3 Kph
LMGTE Am Nicklas NIELSEN 31/08/2019 1:54.662 185.3 Kph
Circuit Race Records by Class
LMP1 Mike CONWAY 01/09/2019 1:37.289 218.4 Kph
LMP2 Giedo VAN DER GAR 01/09/2019 1:43.404 205.4 Kph
LMGTE Pro Davide RIGON 01/09/2019 1:55.762 183.5 Kph
LMGTE Am Charles EASTWOOD 01/09/2019 1:56.520 182.3 Kph