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WEC: Audi snatches narrow victory in season opener

Jack Hunsley

Sep 26, 2010

Audi won one of the tightest finishes in recent Endurance racing at Silverstone yesterday as the #7 team of Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Andre beat the Porsche trio of Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Neel Jani to the checkered flag by just 4.6 seconds.

Despite having a sizeable lead going into the final 15 minutes of the race Fassler, at the wheel of the Audi, was forced to make not one, but two pit stops in the dying stages of the race: firstly to fill up on fuel, and secondly to complete a stop and go penalty for overtaking a GTE Aston Martin by going beyond the track limits.

This reduced Audi's advantage from over a minute to just nine seconds. But whilst Jani in the Porsche was able to close up to Fassler, he was unable to pass.

A look at the race as a whole showed that whilst Porsche certainly quicker down the straights, the Audi was a better overall package on the day, with Lotterer being able to put Audi into the lead around the four hour mark after Dumas made a mistake in the Porsche and was not able to re-pass down the Wellington Straight.

Toyota for the most part played a fairly humble role across the six hours with the car of Anthony Davidson, Sebastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima losing out to the #18 Porsche due to Porsche's decision to not opt for a late-race fuel stop. Meanwhile the #17 Porsche of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, who had started the race from pole position, did lead at the two hour mark before a gearbox issue ruined their chances.

In LMP2 meanwhile G-Drive Racing dominated proceedings producing a 1-2 finish with their two cars, four laps clear of their nearest rivals with the Sam Bird, Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal entry taking the main spoils.

In the GTE Pro class Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander started their title defence in great style after taking the class victory despite dropping towards the back of the field at the start. But two early stops in the safety car periods allowed them to fight their way back through the field to finish ahead of the Porsche of Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen.

Finally, down in the GTE Am class Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana took the honours in their Aston Martin Vantage, just pipping the AF Ferrari of Emmanuel Collard, Rui Aguas and Francois Perrodo across the line by 13 seconds.

Official Race Results

1. LMP1 - #7 Audi Sport Team Joest (Lotterer, Fassler, Treluyer) - 201 Laps
2. LMP1 - #18 Porsche Team (Lieb, Dumas, Jani) - 201 Laps
3. LMP1 - #1 Toyota Racing (Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima) - 201 Laps
4. LMP1 - #2 Toyota Racing (Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway) - 200 Laps
5. LMP1 - #8 Audi Sport Team Joest (Duval, di Grassi, Jarvis) - 197 Laps
6. LMP2 - #26 G-Drive Racing (Rusinov, Canal, Bird) - 185 Laps
7. LMP2 - #28 G-Drive Racing (Yacaman, Gonzalez, Derani) - 184 Laps
8. LMP2 - #42 Strakka Racing (Leventis, Kane, Watts) - 178 Laps
9. GTE Pro - #51 AF Corse (Bruni, Vilander) - 172 Laps
10. GTE Pro - #91 Porsche Team Manthey (Lietz, Christensen) - 172 Laps
11. GTE Pro - #71 AF Corse (Rigon, Calado) - 172 Laps
12. GTE Pro - #95 Aston Martin Racing (Nygaard, Thiim, Sorensen) - 171 Laps
13. GTE Pro - #97 Aston Martin Racing (Turner, Mucke, Bell) - 171 Laps
14. GTE Pro - #99 Aston Martin Racing V8 (Rees, MacDowall, Stanaway) - 171 Laps
15. GTE Pro - #92 Porsche Team Manthey (Pilet, Makowiecki) - 170 Laps
16. GTE Am - #98 Aston Martin Racing (Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda) - 168 Laps
17. GTE Am - #83 AF Corse (Perrodo, Collard, Aguas) - 168 Laps
18. GTE Am - #72 SMP Racing (Shaitar, Basov, Bertolini) - 168 Laps
19. LMP2 - #47 KCMG (Howson, Bradley, Tandy) - 167 Laps
20. GTE Am - #96 Aston Martin Racing (Goethe, Hall, Castellacci) - 166 Laps
21. GTE Am - #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing (Ried, Bachler, Al Qubaisi) - 166 Laps
22. LMP2 - #35 OAK Racing (Nicolet, Merlin, Maris) - 165 Laps
23. GTE Am - #77 Dempsey Racing-Proton (Dempsey, Long, Seefried) - 165 Laps
24. LMP2 - #31 Extreme Speed Motorsport (Brown, Brabham, Fogarty) - 165 Laps
25. GTE Am - #50 Larbre Competition (Roda, Ruberti, Poulsen) - 160 Laps
DNF. LMP1 - #4 Team ByKolles (Trummer, Liuzzi, Klien) - 116 Laps
DNF. LMP1 - #17 Porsche Team (Bernhard, Hartley, Webber) - 44 Laps
DNF. LMP2 - #36 Signatech Alpine (Panciatici, Chatin, Capillaire) - 20 Laps
DSQ. LMP2 - Extreme Speed Motorsport (Sharp, Dalziel, Hansson) - 183 Laps
Last edited:


Jan 20, 2014
The race was absolutely epic, the racing between the Porsche and the Audi was closer and more enjoyable than any F1 fight this weekend. It's so cool to see 3 completely diffrent cars be so close after 6 hours! I can't wait for the next one

Andrew Harper

Dec 1, 2014
Had a great time at Silverstone at the weekend. The top six were together for most of the race and the LMP2 and GT classes were just as close. Shame it was so bloody cold! :roflmao:

Nice amount of time for autographs on race day, excellent commentary from the team as always, and a healthy crowd made it a superb weekend and if Spa was a teeny bit closer (and I had the cash available) I'd head there as well :)

The only disappointment was the disqualification of the HPD car that finished on the LMP2 podium. They kept their nose clean and drove a solid race to third in a seven year old car. Only to be thrown out with the dreaded plank wear regulation. Hopefully this won't put them off entering Spa as travelling from the states to take part is a long journey and they were certainly great looking race cars (I enjoyed a nice drink in the sponsors tent as well :cool:)

The ELMS race on Saturday was excellent as well, grandstand finish of about 3 seconds between 1st and 2nd after four hours of racing :thumbsup:

I have a feeling Spa and Le Mans are gonna be more of the same :D

For those of you that follow the WEC races closely I highly recommend the app. Yes you do have to pay for it (£12 for the year) but you get live timing, choice of onboard cameras, live world feed, videos of highlights, interviews and so on. Really useful for endurance racing :thumbsup: When I can't watch MotorsTV I just plug the ipad into the tv and watch it from there as well :) Yes it's lo-res video but it does the job. Wouldn't mind Le Mans in 4k though :inlove: haha.

.....and yes they had sim racing on the WEC stand :sneaky:

4 8 15 16 23 42 108

Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen
May 31, 2008
I will be at Spa. And I am soooo excited already now!!!
All GTE-Pro entries finished within two laps down and that was the Porsche which had technical problems dropping off the lead. Boy is this tough.
LMP1 will be outstanding this year. Hopefully they all keep their momentum and most entries will take a win home this season.

@Andrew Harper Which sim was running there? Can't remember Spa offered this the last two years.
And how to grab a drink in a sponsor tent?
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Pär Öqvist

Feb 17, 2012
Silverstone tend to produce great races. The lmp battle was so intense we never really got to see the gt battles though.

Andrew Harper

Dec 1, 2014
Which sim was running there? Can't remember Spa offered this the last two years.
And how to grab a drink in a sponsor tent?

It was very busy but as far as I can tell it was rfactor with mods. The individual group of 3 were running GT cars and the main motion rig was an Audi R15 (judging by the on-screen steering wheel! haha).

If it's there at Spa there was a full motion simulator on the Michelin stand (the type you see for company flight simulators). This was really quiet, I was straight on for that one, no waiting.

They were all free as well which was nice, don't see that very often!

The Tequila Patron tent was in the paddock area. They were very quiet so I think they were trying to drum up some business, haha.
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Andrew Harper

Dec 1, 2014
Silverstone tend to produce great races. The lmp battle was so intense we never really got to see the gt battles though.
Yeah that's sometimes the beauty of being there. The two AF Corsa cars were separated by a few seconds for most of the race :thumbsup:

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