Updated: Sunday, August 19, 2018, 8:15 p.m. ET: Both Toyota teams have been excluded from Sunday’s Six Hours of Silverstone after each failed post-race scrutineering. Both failed for the same reason, the under-body skid block had been ground down too much during the course of the race.
The intention of this rule is to regulate the car ride height, as teams will set the cars up as low as possible to improve aero downforce. If they run too low, they risk wearing down this block. Too much wear, and the car is excluded.
This exclusion promotes the Rebellion driver squad of Gustavo Menezes, Thomas Laurent, and Mathias Beche inherit the race victory.
Earlier: Having returned to racing after a short hiatus, the World Endurance Championship was in jolly old today, running for six hours at Silverstone. In each and every one of the four classes, one car or another dominated the proceedings. None of these class races were particularly close, and once the cars ebbed away from each other, as happens in an endurance race, they never really flowed back together. Here’s how it went down.
In the LMP1 class, it was Toyota at the front. It was always going to be Toyota winning this race, and it was certainly theirs to lose. This makes three wins in a row for the Japanese manufacturer, and now only hybrid LMP1 car on the grid. There was nothing any of the other LMP1 competitors could do, in fact after the Toyota 1-2 came home separated by 16 seconds, it was Rebellion coming home four laps down.
There was an inter-team battle between the #8 and #7 Toyotas, however. It was ultimately the #8 that came out of that one victorious, giving Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima, and Sebastien Buemi another victory this season. It was, at least in part, risky and forceful moves like this from Fernando Alonso that allowed the #8 team to come away with the trophy.
In the LMP2 category, the Jackie Chan DC Racing car of Ho Pin Tung, Stephane Richelmi and Gabriel Aubry which walked away with the victory. They finished just a smidge ahead of their teammates, despite having been penalized for Tung jumping the green flag start and running out of fuel during a safety car period. They also had this frightful moment that could easily have ended their race.
The only team that can take the fight directly to the DC Racing crew is TDS Racing, and they suffered a broken suspension bit, and a tire puncture shortly thereafter. These combined incidents dropped them out of contention.
In the GTE Pro category, it was all Ferrari today. The AF Corse team of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado took their first win of the 2018/19 WEC Super Season. While the Fords looked good to take the win early in the running, one of the cars had to pit because they couldn’t keep the driver door closed and it needed to be replaced, while the sister car fell out of favor at about the mid-way point as AF Corse jumped them in the pits. In the 5th hour, the first of the Fords fell further back when they timed their pit stop poorly in relation to a yellow flag.
Other action in the GTE Pro class saw the “Big M8" have an overheating incident on course forcing them to retire.
One of the more exciting races of the day was the fight for the final podium place between the #92 Porsche and the #67 Ford GT at the final lap.
And finally, in the GTE Am category, it was the Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche that took the win in dominant fashion. A factory Aston Martin and a second Porsche were fighting at the front for a bit, but both pitted while the pits were closed, and were given a 75 second penalty for their crimes, which dropped them out of the lead battle.
The true winner of the race, however, is this rabbit and its giant balls.