The marathon runners of the racing world converged on the legendary Silverstone Circuit this weekend for the season opener of the 2015 World Endurance Championship Series. Revamped versions of WEC mainstays like the Audi R18 e-tron quattro and Toyota TS040 Hybrid clashed with newer entrants like the Porsche 919 Hybrid for an exciting start to the 2015 season.
Porsche looked poised to win the 6 Hours at Silverstone after dominating the qualifying session with a 1-2 finish, giving the team from Stuttgart a commanding position to control the race. Mark Webber in the no. 17 Porsche led the early laps, but mechanical problems sidelined him just 90 minutes into the 360 minute contest. It was all downhill from there for Porsche.
After some exciting, neck-and-neck racing between Porsche and Audi’s drivers, Marcel Fassler would find enough of a gap to gain the lead in his R18 e-tron, and despite getting a penalty for driving off-track to his advantage, Fassler ended the race having completed a record 201 laps. Porsche would have to settle for second place in the season. The pair of Toyota hybrids settled for third and fourth place, a bad start for the 2014 WEC champs.
One noticeably absent competitor was the Nissan GT-R LM, which is still undergoing testing ahead of its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut. Nissan has opted to sit out the first couple of races to get its hybrid race car ready to the most important race of the WEC season.
A race Audi has dominated almost every year for over a decade. Can they be stopped?