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Silverstone WEC: Toyota starts 2014 with one-two, disaster for Audi

Silverstone WEC podium 2014

Toyota claimed first blood in the new era of the World Endurance Championship with a dominant one-two finish at Silverstone.

Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Nicolas Lapierre took victory by a clear lap over the sister TS040 HYBRID shared by Alex Wurz, Kazuki Nakajima and Stephane Sarrazin at the end of a race that was red-flagged just under 30 minutes before its scheduled finish courtesy of heavy rain.

The #8 car triumphed courtesy of the decision to put it on intermediate tyres when light rain started to fall late in the opening hour of the six-hour event.

The #7, which had been ahead of its sister car when they pitted, was sent out on full wets, which proved to be the wrong decision.

Buemi said: "We are so delighted to finish first and second - what a great start.

"It was really tricky at the end; I think the race director made the correct decision to stop the race."

Porsche claimed a podium on its return to top-level sportscar racing with the 919 Hybrid.

Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley took third, finishing two laps down on the winner and one down on the second-placed Toyota.

The second Porsche, shared by Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb, failed to finish the race.

The car needed suspension repairs after Jani lost the left front wheel, and then slowed with an unspecified hydraulic problem soon after rejoining.

Audi had a day to forget: both its new R18 e-tron quattros retired after accidents.

Lucas di Grassi crashed at Woodcote in the light drizzle at the end of the opening hour when running third.

The Brazilian was able to get the car back to the pits, but damage to a front suspension pick-up prevented it from rejoining.

The #2 car had already lost time when Andre Lotterer spun at Stowe on the damp track and then Benoit Treluyer lost it at Copse and hit the inside barrier.

The Frenchman managed to get the car going, but with the front suspension severely damaged only managed to drive the car straight into deep gravel from which there was no way out.


Silverstone WEC podium 2014

Porsche dominated the GTE Pro class after rebuffing an early challenge from the lead AF Corse Ferrari.

The #92 Manthey Porsche 911 RSR driven by Frederic Makowiecki, Marco Holzer and Richard Lietz took the laurels after its sister car shared by Nick Tandy, Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Pilet pitted moments before the safety car came out.

Pilet came in for the harder of the two Michelin wet-weather tyres, such were the conditions, and Makowiecki was due to follow him in but found the pits closed courtesy of the safety car.

LMP2 honours went to the OAK-run G-Drive Racing Morgan-Nissan shared by Olivier Pla, Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal.

It came back from a double early delay after losing time at scheduled pitstops to replace the nose section because a front headlight was out, getting on terms with the KCMG ORECA-Nissan 03 driven by Tsugio Matsuda, Matt Howson and Richard Bradley courtesy of the first safety car.

The KCMG car was delayed by a stop-go penalty for speeding in the pitlane and was also docked a lap for an unsafe release in the pits, which explained its two-lap deficit to the winner at the end.

Aston Martin Racing finished one-two in GTE Am, the Vantage shared by Kurt Thiim, Kristian Poulsen and David Heinemeier Hansson leading home the sister Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana and Christoffer Nygaard car.

Results - 167 laps (red flag):

Pos  Cl     Drivers                     Team/Car                   Time/Gap
 1.  P1     Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi     Toyota                 5h22m42.296s
 2.  P1     Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima      Toyota                       +1 lap
 3.  P1     Bernhard/Webber/Hartley     Porsche                     +2 laps
 4.  P1     Prost/Heidfeld/Beche        Rebellion Lola-Toyota       +8 laps
 5.  P2     Rusinov/Pla/Canal           OAK Morgan-Nissan          +13 laps
 6.  P2     Howson/Bradley/Matsuda      KCMG ORECA-Nissan          +15 laps
 7.  GTE P  Holzer/Makowiecki/Lietz     Manthey Porsche            +20 laps
 8.  GTE P  Pilet/Bergmeister/Tandy     Manthey Porsche            +20 laps
 9.  GTE P  Turner/Mucke                Aston Martin               +20 laps
10.  GTE P  Bruni/Vilander              AF Ferrari                 +20 laps
11.  GTE P  Rigon/Calado                AF Ferrari                 +21 laps
12.  GTE A  Griffin/Parente             Ram Ferrari                +21 laps
13.  P2     Zlobin/Minassian/Mediani    SMP ORECA-Nissan           +22 laps
14.  GTE P  MacDowall/O'Young/Rees      Bamboo Aston Martin        +23 laps
15.  GTE A  Poulsen/Hansson/Thiim       Aston Martin               +23 laps
16.  GTE A  Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard     Aston Martin               +23 laps
17.  GTE A  Wyatt/Rugolo/Bird           AF Ferrari                 +24 laps
18.  GTE A  Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi     Proton Porsche             +25 laps
19.  GTE P  Mowlem/Patterson/Collins    Ram Ferrari                +26 laps
20.  GTE A  Companc/Cioci/Venturi       AF Ferrari                 +26 laps


     GTE A  Potolicchio/Roda/Ruberti    8Star Ferrari              118 laps
     P1     Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer   Audi                        94 laps
     GTE A  Perrodo/Collard/Vaxiviere   Prospeed Porsche            83 laps
     P2     Ladygin/Shaitar/Ladygin     SMP ORECA-Nissan            65 laps
     P1     Dumas/Jani/Lieb             Porsche                     30 laps
     P1     Kraihamer/Belicchi/Leimer   Rebellion Lola-Toyota       24 laps
     P1     Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen  Audi                        24 laps
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Toyota beats Audi to Silverstone pole