Audi 1-2 at Silverstone A nail biting end to the 6 Hours of Silverstone saw the No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Allan McNish sweep past the No. 1 Audi of world champion Benoit Treluyer with just five minutes of the race remaining to win the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship and also add the names of Audi, McNish, Duval and Kristensen to the 108 year Tourist Trophy roll of honor.
The LMP2 victory went to Silverstone based team Delta-ADR as Antonio Pizzonia took the checkered flag with nearly a one lap advantage over the No. 24 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan.
Aston Martin Racing celebrated its centenary in style after a dominant display in both the LMGTE Pro and Am classes. Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke and Bruno Senna ran a flawless race to win the Pro class in their No.97 Vantage V8, having led the race from start to finish.
In LMGTE the Danish trio of Alan Simonsen, Christian Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen were equally convincing in LMGTE Am, finishing a full three laps ahead of the No.50 Larbre Corvette of Patrick Bornhauser, Julien Canal and Fernando Rees.
From the start, a thrilling battle had ensued with challenger Toyota. Allan McNish in the number 2 Audi grabbed the lead for the first time on the sixth lap. The sister car – number 1 – driven by Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Treluyer (CH/D/F) completed Audi’s one-two lead at an early stage.
On lap 77, the Swiss fought his way forward to the very front. A defect on the left front driveshaft after four hours of racing though meant that the hybrid system of car number 1 was no longer able to deliver its power to the front wheels. With that, the current World Champions had to admit defeat.
In the technologically challenging battle of the best hybrid sports cars Audi – like last year – achieved victory in front of Toyota at Silverstone. The two R18 e-tron quattro cars had been set up for particularly high aerodynamic downforce. The smaller air restrictor prescribed by the regulations this year was to reduce the output of Audi’s LMP sports cars. The engineers from Audi Sport worked on compensating for this disadvantage, which also included a power-oriented engine development.
Furthermore, the 58-liter fuel tank capacity of the diesel hybrid sports car being around 20 percent smaller than that of the gasoline engine sports car of competitor Toyota resulted in shorter refueling intervals for Audi. Despite an additional refueling stop Audi managed to win with a one-lap advantage in front of the best Toyota finishing in third place.
Quotes after the race
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "It's very nice to be able to finish the first WEC race in 2013 with a one-two victory. From the beginning to the end, we showed a consistently good performance. Both cars were running on different strategies and it was thrilling through to the end. Although car number 1 was ultimately handicapped the lap times were very strong. A duel of the kind fought between Allan McNish and Benoît Treluyer is unrivaled in motorsport. That proves that our drivers are free to battle on track. But they also know that they're driving for the Audi brand and they impressively showed that."
Loic Duval (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): "A fantastic weekend. Allan McNish was incredibly strong at Silverstone. He was very quick and even recovered the time loss after spinning shortly before the end. I'm delighted about immediately clinching a victory on my first start in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Silverstone."
Tom Kristensen (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): "A nice race in which we clearly showed how we increased our pace in the winter. Toyota's performance deserves respect as well. We've seen a thrilling battle in which Allan McNish recovered despite a spin. And Loïc Duval experienced a very nice debut in our driver squad."
Allan McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): "We knew it would be a difficult race. The competition with Toyota was tough, plus there was a thrilling duel between both Audi cars. In the end, it became a battle between Benoît Treluyer and me. After I spun, I went for maximum attack on new tires. I managed to move to the front only on the penultimate lap. I'm happy about having scored the maximum number of points at the WEC opener for the second consecutive time."
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