FIA WEC: Historic First Victory for Toyota TS030 Hybrid
The 25,000 spectators at the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo, the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, were treated to the sight of a flawless outright victory for the No.7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid.
1. 7 Toyota Racing, Wurz / Lapierre, Toyota TS030 Hybrid, 247 laps, 6:01’08.356
2. 1 Audi Sport Team Joest, Lotterer / Fässler / Tréluyer, Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 247 laps, +1’00.778
3. 2 Audi Sport Team Joest, Kristensen / McNish / Di Grassi, Audi R18 ultra, 247 laps, +1’14.679
4. 12 Rebellion Racing, Prost / Jani, Lola B12/60 Coupé Toyota, 242 laps, +5 Laps
5. 21 Strakka Racing, Leventis / Watts / Kane, HPD ARX 03a Honda, 240 laps, +7 Laps
Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre started from pole position and led nearly the whole race, only leaving Audi to enjoy a brief moment at the head of the time sheets during the first pit stop. The Japanese constructor was certainly helped by the only safety car period of the race, the two German prototypes finding themselves behind the second safety car while the first was ahead of the Toyota. However, the Franco-Austrian duo had already built a comfortable lead on track, aware that the two Audis could do more laps in a stint between two pit stops.
In the end, the first three cars in the overall classification all finished on the same lap after six hours of racing. André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer, at the wheel of the No.1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro crossed the finish line one minute behind the Japanese racing car and 14 seconds ahead of the No.2 Audi R18 ultra of Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Brazilian Lucas di Grassi.
The domination of the No.12 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota was also clear cut as Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost took the chequered flag with two laps in hand over the second LMP1 Privateer, the No.21 Strakka Racing HPD-Honda. The Franco-Swiss pairing just missed out on an overall podium after having had a trouble-free race, unlike the 100% British line up of Jonny Kane, Danny Watts and Nick Leventis. The latter had contact with Harold Primat, who had taken over from Andrea Belicchi, and the No.13 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota in the penultimate hour of the race, but the two drivers were able to continue and there was only a gap of three seconds between Strakka and the No.13 at the finish.
1. 44 Starworks Motorsports, Potolicchio / Dalziel / Sarrazin, HPD ARX 03b Honda, 234 laps, 6:01’42.190
2. 49 Pecom Racing, Perez Companc /Minassian /Kaffer, Oreca 03 Nissan, 231 laps, +3 Laps
3. 24 Oak Racing, Nicolet / Lahaye / Pla, Morgan Nissan, 230 laps, +4 Laps
There was also a dazzling victory in the LMP2 class for the Starworks Motorsport HPD-Honda after a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, opening round of the Championship in March, and above all at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Stephane Sarrazin, who clinched pole in the category yesterday, Enzo Potolicchio and Ryan Dalziel had three laps in hand at the finish, but the result doesn’t truly represent their race which didn’t go altogether smoothly for the American team.
Although it started off at the front, Starworks Motorsport battled with the No.35 Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan for more than four hours, but the latter’s race ended on the side of the track following a technical problem, putting an end to the hopes of the French team. OAK Racing had to be content with the third step of the podium for the No.24 sister car of Jacques Nicolet, Matthieu Lahaye and Olivier Pla, despite a penalty for speeding in the pit lane and a brush on the first lap with the No.49 Pecom RacingOreca 03-Nissan. The Argentinian entry in the end finished second in class. Pierre Kaffer, Luis Perez-Companc, partnered by Nicolas Minassian, were able to pass a good many competitors after the first lap incident and mounted the second step of the podium having not had any other problem.
Click here for the provisional result from the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo
(image © Frederic Le Floc’h – DPPI media)
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