Mike and the Gulf Racing team delivered a respectable performance at the 4 hours of Silverstone, finishing in 4th place in the endurance trophy for GTE Am Drivers. The Gulf team did well in the rain, although the safety car was brought out within two hours of racing. The all-British driver line-up of Mike Wainwright, Ben Barker and and Andrew Watson were on-track for a podium finish right up until a forced pit stop towards the end of the race.
The rain created some great challenges throughout the field. While the race overall wasn’t a classic by WEC standards it packed a lot into the new format. Ultimately viewers were shortchanged out of 2 hours good racing.
The usual clinical setup happened upfront in LMP1. Toyota had a solid runout and managed their cars to the end. Rebellion did a fantastic job to take advantage of changeable weather to lead a short stint of the race. Even carrying extra ‘performance ballast’ it’s obvious something out of the ordinary has to happen for another team to get a car between the two championship contenders.
LMP2 was a very different story with Cool Racing taking the race win on their debut run. The two driver team lost their teammate to a Saturday crash, though graciously shared the podium with their crutch-bound third driver.
The opposite fortune fell to United Autosport after an electrical issue left Paul Di Resta stranded on track. A persona home favourite, the team had the pace to win and it was devastating to see them go out so soon.
GTE Pro was strong fight, with the new Porsche starting the season with a strong 1-2. While there was almost nothing to separate the cars last season, it looks like the new Porsche has found a lot of pace on the track. The team dominated the wet part of the race before being reeled back by safety car and breaking out front again in the pit stops to take the win.
We might see more of the same from LMP1 this season, with some chances for Rebellion to strike out for a win. Expect a whole new battle in LMP2 and the usual rumble as teams fight back in GTE Pro.