Audi’s sports race loss is Porsche’s gain

Audi’s sports race loss is Porsche’s gain

Porsche has been declared the winner of the opening round of the World Endurance Championship after the Audi that finished first at Silverstone was excluded.

The Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler had triumphed in a dramatic Sllverstone Six Hours race, regarded as a warm-up for the famed Le Mans 24hrs in June.

But in post-race scrutineering the winning Audi was excluded, stewards deciding that a skid block on the flat plank running under the car was worn by more than the 5mm permitted by the regulations.

This handed the win to the Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb, which had finished 46 seconds behind the Audi, while the third manufacturer contesting the flagship Le Mans Prototype LMP1 category, Toyota, claimed second with its TS050 Hybrid driven by Mike Conway, Stephane Sarrazin and Kamui Kobayashi.

The results remain provisional, however as Audi has lodged an appeal against its exclusion.

1604_Porsche_WECThe battle between the Audi and Porsche had livened up the race which in the early stages had been dominated by the lead Porsche with former F1 winner Mark Webber driving.

With just over two hours of the race gone, however, second driver Brendon Hartley made contact with a GTE Porsche while lapping it and was launched violently into the barriers, the car rearing on its side and almost rolling.

Hartley was later reprimanded by stewards after they decided he had attempted to lap the GTE car in an unsafe manner.

The GTE class saw a one-two victory for Ferrari, 28 laps behind the overall winner and a lap ahead of the debuting Ford GT team.

Andrew Charman

Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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