WEC 6 Hours of Sil­ver­stone

Evo - - MOTORSPORT MOMENT -

HAV­ING QUAL­I­FIED ON THE FRONT ROW OF THE grid, Toyota’s pair of TS050 Hy­brids were in a strong po­si­tion to win the 2017 World En­durance Cham­pi­onship’s open­ing round, at Sil­ver­stone in April. It wasn’t to be that sim­ple, though. The two cars fought for the lead through­out the open­ing third of the six-hour race un­til the no. 7 car, be­ing driven by for­mer F1 star Ka­mui Kobayashi, re­turned to the pits with a me­chan­i­cal fault. Rain dur­ing this elon­gated stop then caught the Ja­panese driver un­awares when he re­joined the race and he sub­se­quently left the track mo­men­tar­ily at Vale.

The no. 7 car’s mis­for­tunes weren’t over yet, ei­ther. Three-time WTCC cham­pion José María López later came off at Copse, and hard. The shunt re­moved most of the Toyota’s front body­work, but López man­aged to limp the car back to the pits for the team to get it into shape and, re­mark­ably, back into the race.

There was drama for the no. 8 Toyota, too, as it lost the lead to one of the Porsche 919 Hy­brids with less than 30 min­utes to go. Toyota driver Sébastien Buemi (also ex-f1) fought back to re­take the lead, how­ever. Porsche’s cars placed sec­ond and third, while the ill-fated no. 7 Toyota fin­ished 23rd.

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