Packed grandstands at Silverstone witnessed history as Audi claimed the Manufacturer’s title in the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship after finishing first and third at the six-hour race.
The driving team of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoit Tréluyer in the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro followed up their earlier victory at the 24 Heures du Mans but had to fight hard to the checkered flag with the Toyota Racing TS030 of Alex Wurz, Kazuki Nakajima and Nicolas Lapierre. The Audi gained an advantage because it only required six pit stops, compared to eight for the Toyota hybrid. The win came despite a stop-and-go penalty after Benoît Tréluyer was involved in an early accident with a GT car. Although they lost 32sec as a result, the team still finished 55sec ahead. The #2 Audi R18 Ultra (non-hybrid V6 TDI) of Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen was third after a slow puncture forced the team to make an unscheduled pitstop during the race. They finished 19sec behind the second place Toyota.
While Audi clinched the manufacturer’s title just four races in the eight-race series, the drivers’ championship heated up following a change of leaders: after their second win Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer head the standings for the first time this season, with a narrow 4.5 point lead over former leaders Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.
The #13 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota of Andrea Belicchi and Harold Primat took the top honors in the LMP1 Privateer Class, but were nearly beaten to the flag by the #21 Strakka Racing HPD-Honda of Danny Watts, who closed the gap to just 0.627sec as they crossed the line.
Silverstone based ADR-Delta took the LMP2 category in the #25 Oreca-Nissan driven by John Martin, Tor Graves and Jan Charouz. They wereonly just 5.6sec ahead of Le Mans and Sebring winners Enzo Potolicchio, Ryan Dalziel and Stephane Sarrazin in the #44 Starworks Motorsports HPD-Honda.
The series now moves on to the 6 Hours of Sao Paolo at Interlagos circuit, Brazil.
Silverstone race results
1. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 194 laps
2. Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima (Toyota) +55.675s
3. Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 ultra) +1m 14.427s
4. Belicchi/Primat (Lola-Toyota) -5 laps
5. Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD-Honda) -5 laps
6. Prost/Jani (Lola-Toyota) -5 laps
7. Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck (HPD-Honda) -7 laps
8. Martin/Charouz/Graves (Oreca-Nissan) -11 laps
9. Potolicchio/Dalziel/Sarrazin (HPD-Honda) -11 laps
10. Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov (Oreca-Nissan) -11 laps