Double endurance programme at Silverstone, wins for Toyota and IDEC Sport
The iconic Silverstone circuit saw a double endurance programme this weekend, with two races bearing the same name – 4 Hours of Silverstone.
The first was Saturday’s race of the European Le Mans Series, the fourth round of the 2019 season. The second race, on Sunday, was the opening round of the 2019-2020 FIA World Endurance Championship. Previously, the six-hour race was the part of the FIA WEC schedule but now the race was shortened to four-hour duration.
Toyota Gazoo Racing continued its winning rhythm from the previous season, taking a 1-2 victory in the first race of the season. The winners are Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, defeating their teammates Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley in the #8 car. Both Toyota crews completed 129 laps at Silverstone.
The third-placed Rebellion Racing’s #3 Rebellion R13 completed 128 laps driven by Pipo Derani, Nathanael Berthon and Loic Duval. Six LMP1 cars participated in the race. Team LNT made a debut with two Ginetta G60s, finishing fourth and sixth.
The winners of the LMP2 class competition are Antonin Borga, Alexandre Coigny and Nicolas Lapierre in the #42 Cool Racing Oreca. Signatech Alpine Elf #36 crew and Racing Team Nederland #29 crew completed the podium.
Porsche GT Team ended a race with a double victory in the GTE Pro class. Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz were first, Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre were second. Aston Martin Racing’s Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn finished the race in the third place. In the GTE Am class, Nicklas Nielsen, Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo took a victory in the #83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE.
On Saturday, IDEC Sport’s Memo Rojas, Paul Lafargue and Paul-Loup Chatin scored their first win of the season in the #28 Oreca LMP2 prototype They defeated championship leaders in the #26 G-Drive Aurus 01. The #26 car was driven by Roman Rusinov, Job van Uitert and Jean-Eric Vergne. The overall podium was completed by Alexandre Cougnaud, Tristan Gommendy and Jonathan Hirschi in the #39 Graff Oreca.
In the LMP3 class, the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier and the #11 Eurointernational Ligier fought for the victory. Jens Petersen took the flag first but was given a 30 second penalty for not coming into the pits for a Black and Orange flag earlier in the race. The #13 Ligier was declared the winner but was then handed a 1m43s penalty for not respecting the minimum driving time. So, the #11 Ligier was handed the win back and the #13 Ligier was second. It’s the second win of the season for Jens Petersen and Mikkel Jensen. United Autosports took the third place with #2 Ligier.
In the GTE class, the #88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR was victorious for the first time this year, with Thomas Preining, Gianluca Giraudi and Ricardo Sanchez as drivers. Two Kessel Racing crews completed the podium, with #83 Ferrari 488 GTE (Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting, Manuela Gostner) finishing second and #60 car (Sergio Pianezzola, Andrea Piccini, Nicola Cadei) in the third place.
The ELMS round at Silverstone saw changeable weather with sunshine and heavy showers, setting the stage for an incident packed and drama-filled race. The most dramatic incident was a crash between the #3 United Autosports LMP3 Ligier of Mike Guasch and the #24Panis Barthez Competition LMP2 Ligier of Timothe Buret. Guasch hit the concrete wall and was badly injured.
Photos: Jakob Ebrey Photography,