The FIA WEC started the year with a little controversy at Silverstone. After a strong first race of the season, the race winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro number 7 of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer was stripped of its victory when it failed the post-race scrutineering. With too much wear observed on the front skid block, the car was excluded from the results pending the inevitable appeal.
The opening stages of the race belonged to Audi as the number 7 and number 8 cars took the lead ahead of the number 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Mark Webber. However, the battling Aussie took the lead just over 30 minutes into the race. Brendon Hartley took over the championship-defending Porsche from Webber and continued to keep up the pace at the front until an over ambitious pass on the Gulf Racing Porsche 991 RSR saw contact made and Hartley was guaranteed YouTube stardom as his Porsche 919 very nearly flipped onto its roof before righting itself and joining the Gulf Porsche in the gravel.
Moments later at almost the exact same spot the number 8 Audi driven by Lucas di Grassi rolled to a halt as its hybrid system failed. This just left the number 2 and number 7 Porsche and Audi to slug it out for the victory, but further problems passing slower traffic left the Porsche floundering which secured the victory on the road for the number 7 Audi.
Behind the lead battle came the number 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, whilst the sister Toyota dropped out of the race after a burst tyre at the start of the lap destroyed much of the rear bodywork. The two Rebellion Racing cars took the LMP-privateer honours whilst the ByKolles CLM P1/01 machine came home fourteenth overall.
LMP2 saw a Mexican victory as RGR Sport with Filipe Albuquerque, Ricardo González and Bruno Senna took the top step of the podium on the team’s debut in the championship. A second Ligier-Nissan took second place in the form of the Extreme Speed Motorsports team with drivers Ryan Dalziel, Pipo Derani and Christopher Cumming. Third was claimed by the Russian G-Drive team who were looking good for the victory until problems struck, leaving driver René Rast stuck at the side of the track trying to get his car restarted.
The new Ferrari 488 GTEs of AF Corse took the two top steps of the GTE-Pro podium with Davide Rigon and Sam Bird taking victory one lap ahead of Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage with Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Darren Turner took third ahead of the two Ford GTs.
A good day for AF Corse was rounded off with the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 of François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Águas taking the victory in GTE-Am. Second in class was the Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda whilst the Corvette of Larbre Compétition took third with Yutaka Yamagishi, Paolo Ruberti and Pierre Ragues guiding it home.
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