Toyota has won the first round of the 2017 FIA WEC season, the 6 Hours of Silverstone. Despite one of their cars crashing out towards the end, the #8 car maintained a steady lead throughout the race. Formula E driver Sebastien Buemi took the honors by crossing the finish line first in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid. Behind Buemi came the two Porsche 919 Hybrids – #2 car of Brandon Hartley leading the #1 car of Nick Tandy.

WEC 6 Hours of Silverstone 2017 Results

1. #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid – Sebastien Buemi
2. #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid – Brandon Hartley
3. #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid – Nick Tandy
1. #38 Oreca 07 – Oliver Jarvis
2. #31 Oreca 07 – Nicolas Prost
3. #28 Oreca 07 – Matthieu Vaxiviere
1. #67 Ford GT – Harry Tincknell
2. #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE – Alessandro Pier
3. #91 Porsche 911 RSR – Frédéric Makowiecki
1. #61 Ferrari 488 GTE – Matt Griffin
2. #98 Aston Martin Vantage – Pedro Lamy
3. #77 Porsche 911 RSR – Matteo Cairoli

Starting from the from row, Toyota had an easy first two hours of the race upon which the #8 TS050 Hybrid car of Sebastien Buemi led pole sitter Mike Conway in the #7 car. Conway’s car suffered from a software mapping issue which ultimately affected their pace, eventually, they dropped to fourth place behind the Porsches but that was not until the second hour.

Brendon Hartley was third in the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, leading Neel Jani in the #1 car before Toyota fell back. Nicolas Lapierre held the lead from start in LMP2 driving the #36 Signatech Alpine . Ford managed an early 1-2 lead in LMGTE Pro with the #67 Ford GT of Andy Priaulx followed by Stefan Mucke in the #66 Ford GT. Priaulx lost valuable time after taking an early pit stop to fix the door and a deflating tire. Sam Bird managed to secure P3 in the first hour driving the #71 Ferrari 488 GTE.

Photos by Rajan Jangda

The second hour saw the #7 Toyota fall back to P4 behind the two Porsches after the software issue persisted. Mucke was now leading LMGTE-Pro while Alessandro Pier moved to second in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE. Sam Bird was still in third. Elsewhere, Aston Martin led the Am class with the #98 Vantage after two hours.

With 2h 30min left on the clock, Toyota held the lead with Kazuki Nakajima behind the wheel of the #8 TS050. Earl Bamber was second in the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, leading LeMans ace and ex-Audi driver Andre Lotterer in the #1 Porsche, this is his first drive for Porsche since Audi exited WEC. WTTC veteran Jose Maria Lopez was now behind the wheel of the #7 Toyota which was still fourth.

The third hour was met with heavy rain prompting some swift pit stops and tire strategies. Here, Porsche moved to P1 with Timo Bernhard behind the wheel, while the #8 Toyota continued to lose time on the wet conditions, shod on slicks. Soon as the track began to dry, Porsche pitted for slicks, and Toyota moved ahead this time with Davidson behind the wheel.

Ford continued to lead the LMGTE Pro class after four hours, the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE was second while third placed #91 Porsche 911 RSR continued to close in fast. The #98 Aston Martin was still undisputed in the LMGTE Am class, with Mathias Lauda behind the wheel. Things would change much later for this team as the Clearwater Racing Ferrari 488 GTE claimed the win.

Biggest change in the race came after four hours when Jose Maria Lopez crashed his #7 Toyota hard at Copse Corner. A lengthy safety car period followed while the badly damaged Toyota was extracted from the track.

Toyota went ahead to win the first round of the 2017 FIA WEC season, Sebastien Buemi crossed the finish line first in the #8 TS050 Hybrid car leading the two Porsches of Brandon and Tandy.

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