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WEC: a glance after Silverstone

Exactly one year after his defeat, Audi team had his own back, forerunning the favourites of the eve, Porsche and Toyota. Race without history in P2, with the Ligiers managed by team G-Drive enjoying their triumphal ride. Bruni-Vilander confirmed their superiority with another win in GTPro, despite a certain extent of misfortune. Another success of Aston Martin in GTAm, after a passionate duel with AF Corse’s Ferrari.
6 ore Silverstone 2015
20/04/2015 -

The Audi run by the multi winner crew Lotterer-Fassler-Treluyer, deservedly conquered the first round of 2015 WEC Championship, showing another time the ability of the German team to recover from a not particularly brilliant time. Certainly, experts know that this is not definitively a new cycle for the German Team: also in the past season, R18 showed a pretty good performance, losing the race only by human errors and not technical ones. Nonetheless the developments carried on during the winter by engineers, really improved car’s performance, allowing drivers a steady advantage on other opponents.

Many of the doubts, risen after Wec Prologue, are not solved by this first race, but we can observe that Porsche confirms itself as a relatively frail prototype and Toyota could discover (once again) that conservative politics do not always pay back. At the same time is useful to consider that, with the splitting of hybrid systems in four classes and racing on tracks different for length and characteristics, some technical choices of each team may not pay on all events. On Silverstone track, the highest classes face a gap that could be mitigated during a fast lap: it is sufficient to compare lap times of Audis and Porsches between race and qualifying session, to concede that some doubts are licit.

The situation is different in P2 category, where Ligier prototype candidates itself to dominate the championship. During the past season, the French Coupé was very fast but paying in reliability, at the point that the project seemed affected by inborn fragility. The job done during the winter in OAK Racing factory, seems to have solved the problem: in Silverstone, both G-Drive cars had no opponents, recovering in only eight laps the unhappy result of a bad start, and achieving an historical one-two on the finish line. The only car, with the potential to challenge Ligier chassis, is probably the new Oreca 05, but this project is still too much young to endanger JS2 leadership.

Extreme Limit Motorsport archives his experience with Acura chassis with a stunning third place, then loosen during technical verifications, because the bottom of the car was found below the limit. Since Spa, the team will race his new Ligier JS2. If Extreme Limit Motorsport is able to work on the new car with the same intensity showed in the past, it will be a valid alternative to G-Drive dominance, livening up the show.

About the Dome raced by team Strakka, it is fair to say that, if after a year of private tests, the results are these, it is difficult to expect great things from this prototype, which is one of the most beautiful designed in the last years. The third place at Silverstone does not represent the true value of this car, because not obtained thanks to his performance during the race, but to lucky events. The “black arrow” received some technical upgrades for this event, with new profiles linking the crashbox to the wheelarches, but these modifications proved ineffective both in qualifying, and in race, where the front was damaged going off the track after the start: the car was never able to match the Ligiers’ performances.

In GT Pro category, the values showed on the starting grid, were reversed during race. During qualifying session, AF Corse’s Ferraris seemed overwhelmed by the opposition of Porsches and Aston Martins. After a bad start with a little ride out of the track in order to avoid one of the Ligiers, Bruni-Vilander recovered, taking the lead from their teammates Calado-Rigon and conquering another deserved victory. Aston Martins where faster on a single lap, both in qualifying and race, but less effective in the sum of times. Porsches showed performances similar to Ferrari’s ones, conquering a valuable second place with Lietz-Christensen, at only ten second from Bruni-Vilander. In this class, being the performance balanced, the difference between good and bad results is probably due to the ability of preserve tyres.                                           

Finally, a look at GTAm Category, where Aston Martin was able to win the class on Lamy-Della Lana-Lauda, on AF Corse’s Ferrari driven by Perrodo-Collard-Aguas and SMP’s one raced by Bartolini-Shaitar-Basov. Also in this category, the battle for victory seems to be opened to all the competitors, with the new Corvette raced by Larbre that was able to match the leaders’ rhythm.

article by Marco Zanello
Photo Paolo Briatico

Vai Alla Gallery  Photogallery " WEC - Silverstone 6 hours 2015

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