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FIA WEC 4 Hours of Silverstone ... #7 Toyota on pole position


 

Silverstone, 31/08 – 01/09 2019

The entry for the FIA WEC 4 Hours of Silverstone comprised of 31 cars, 6 in the LMP1 class, 8 in the LMP2 class, 6 in the LMGTE Pro class and 11 in the LMGTE Am class. For the LMP1 qualifying session it was really only a question of would it be the #7 or the #8 Toyota on pole position? The answer was the #7 car which was qualified by Kobayashi/Conway, from the #8 car piloted by Buemi/Nakajima 0.3sec in arrears, with the #3 Rebellion qualified by Senna/Menezes in 3rd place, surprisingly only 0.545sec off the pole position time. In the LMP2 category it was the #29 Racing Team Nederland entered Oreca 07-Gibson of Van De Garde/Uitert that claimed the class pole. In the LMGTE Pro class it was the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO of Calado/Pier Guidi that took the class pole from the #71 sister car of Rigon/Molina, whilst the LMGTE Am class pole went to the #90 Aston Martin Vantage AMR in the hands of Eastwood/Yoluc.

 

Under race conditions the pace of the hybrid Toyotas couldn’t be matched by the non-hybrid LMP1 runners, with the lap time difference being around double that of the qualifying times, thus it was an orchestrated Toyota run at the head of the field. This was briefly interrupted through a safety car period and a wrong decision on tyres in a rain squall in the second hour of the race when the Rebellions forged to the front. However, it was short lived, and the pair of Toyotas were soon back at the front, a position that they retained through to the chequered flag, finishing less than 2secs apart. By the end of the race they were a lap ahead of the #3 Rebellion, but this was down to problems for both the #1 and #3 Rebellions. The #1 car lost time in a pit stop during the rain when Norman Nato locked up and slid into three mechanics, one of whom ended up with a broken toe, but the ensuing confusion resulted in the loss of a lot of time, then later in the race had a lengthy stop to fix a problem with the power steering, resulting in a 10th place finish. The #3 car of Berthon/Derani/Duval was running on the lead lap for much of the race, but what was described as a fuel sensor problem, which meant that it exceeded the fuel flow rate, saw it hit with penalties that dropped it a lap behind by the end of the race.

In the LMP2 category it was a new team to the series, Cool Racing from Switzerland, who took the class win with their #42 Oreca 07-Gibson driven by reigning class champion Nicolas Lapierre and Antonin Borga. Their nominated third driver, bronze rated Alexandre Coigny, had been injured in the ELMS race on Saturday afternoon, so was unable to take part. They took a comfortable win from Lapierre’s previous mount, the #36 Signatech Alpine ELF entered Alpine A470-Gibson, despite a drive through penalty for a safety car infringement and a puncture.

Both GT classes saw some frantic action throughout the course of the race, with the pair of AF Corse Ferraris heading the LMGTE Pro class in the early stages, but only narrowly from the pursuing Aston Martins and upgraded 2019 specification Porsches. However, the class pole sitting #51 Ferrari suffered an early puncture which dropped it down the order, which became a fierce fight-back for the remainder of the race. This car’s race was further compromised when it was given a drive-through penalty for an alleged safety car infringement, which the team protested. They thought that their protest had been to no avail and called the car in late in the race to serve it, then just as it was coming through the pits the stewards rescinded their decision, but it was too late and the net result was a 4th place finish. The sister #71 car had even worse luck, as it was running a strong 3rd chasing down the Porsches ahead of it, when it was rudely punted off the track and into the barriers by the #6 LMP1 Ginetta driven by Oliver Jarvis – race run! This left the field open for the Porsches to take the class win in the order of #91 driven by Bruni/Lietz, which finished a shade under 4secs ahead of the sister #92 example of Christensen/Estre, with the #97 Aston Martin of Lynn/Martin just over 2secs behind at the chequered flag. AF Corse had greater fortune in the LMGTE Am class, as their #83 Ferrari driven by Perrodo/Collard/Nielsen eventually came through to take a comfortable win from the # 98 Aston Martin of Dalla Lana/Turner/Gunn. In qualifying the #70 MR Racing entered Ferrari had propped up the time sheets, but came good in the race to take the final podium spot in the hands of Ishikawa/Beretta/Cozzolino.

Race Podiums


Overall & LMP1

1st – #7, Toyota Gazoo Racing, Toyota TS50-Hybrid, M. Conway / K. Kobayashi / J. Lopez
2nd – #8, Toyota Gazoo Racing, Toyota TS50-Hybrid, S. Buemi / K. Nakajima / B. Hartley
3rd – #3, Rebellion Racing, Rebellion R13-Gibson, N. Berthon / P. Derani / L. Duval


LMP2

1st – #42, Cool Racing, Oreca 07-Gibson, N. Lapierre / A. Borga
2nd – #36, Signatech Alpine ELF, Alpine A470-Gibson, T. Laurent / A. Negrao / P. Ragues
3rd – #29, Racing Team Nederland, Oreca 07-Gibson, F. Van Eerd / G. Van De Garde / J. Van Uitert


LMGTE Pro

1st – #91, Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR-19, G. Bruni / R. Lietz
2nd – #92, Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR-19, M. Christensen / K. Estre
3rd – #97, Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin Vantage AMR, A. Lynn / M. Martin


LMGTE Am

1st – #83, AF Corse, Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, F. Perrodo / E. Collard / N. Nielsen
2nd – #98, Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin Vantage AMR, P. Dalla Lana / D. Turner / R. Gunn
3rd – #70, MR Racing, Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, M. Ishikawa / O. Beretta / K. Cozzolino

 

Ferrari Entry

Race #

Model

Chassis #

Team

Colour

Drivers

Position

 

O/A

Cl.

Class GTE Pro

51

Ferrari 488 GTE “EVO”

3836

AF Corse

Red-Multi

A Pier Guidi / J. Calado

16th

4th

71

Ferrari 488 GTE “EVO”

3834

AF Corse

Red-Multi

D. Rigon /
M. Molina

DNF

 

Class GTE AM

83

Ferrari 488 GTE “EVO”

3828

AF Corse

White-Black- RWB Stripes

F. Perrodo / E. Collard / N. Nielsen

18th

1st

70

Ferrari 488 GTE “EVO”

3842

MR Racing

White-Red

M. Ishikawa / O. Beretta /
K. Cozzolino

20th

3rd

62

Ferrari 488 GTE “EVO”

3826

Red River Sport

Dark Red Met’- White

B. Grimes /
J. Mowlem / C. Hollings

25th

8th

54

Ferrari 488 GTE “EVO”

3814

Spirit of Race

Silver-Red

T. Flohr/ F. Castellacci /
G. Fisichella

26th

9th

 

Keith Bluemel         
09/2019