WEC 6 Hours of Silverstone
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.