After the summer break, the WEC heads to Silverstone this coming weekend for WEC Round 3 of the 2018/2019 Super Season. Having moved from its traditional slot as the WEC season opener in April, it will be the first time the Silverstone round of the WEC has been held this late in the year.
The LMP1 class should be beyond question with Toyota already well out in front of second-placed Rebellion. In the LMP2 formula, the #36 Signatech Alpine is comfortably ahead of the two Jackie Chan cars which are lying in second and third places, just a point apart. The real action, though, will be in the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes.
GTE Pro and Am class drivers for Round 3:
|GTE Pro||91||Porsche GT Team||Richard Lietz/Gianmaria Bruni|
|92||Porsche GT Team||Michael Christensen/Kévin Estre|
|GTE Am||54||Project 1||Jörg Bergmeister/Patrick Lindsey/Egidio Perfetti|
|77||Dempsey-Proton Racing||Christian Ried/Julien Andlauer/Matt Campbell|
|86||Gulf Racing||Michael Wainwright/Ben Barker/Alex Davison|
|88||Proton Racing||Khaled Al Qubaisi/ Giorgio Roda/Matteo Cairoli|
The GTE Pro and Am Porsche 911 RSR are essentially running the same spec machine in both classes. The 911 RSR in the Pro class has a minimum weight limit of 1269 kg and the engine must run with a pair of 30.3 mm restrictors. In order to establish a performance difference between the Pro and Am Porsches, the 911 RSR in the Am class must have a minimum weight of 1279 kg and the engine must be fitted with a pair of 29.9 mm restrictors.
Apart from these restrictions, which are carried over from Le Mans and were correct at the time of publication, the only other difference between the Pro and Am cars is the driver behind the wheel.
From the points tables below, it can be seen that the Porsche Pro and Am teams travel to Silverstone with a strong lead in each class. Of course, the #92 and the #91 GTE Pro Porsche RSRs were victorious at Le Mans, so the drivers will still be buoyed following that fine performance. Hard on their heels though, will be the other contenders in class which includes Ferrari, Aston Martin and BMW. While the #91 and #92 cars competed at Le Mans sporting a special historic livery, for the Silverstone round, the two factory cars will revert to the corporate design with the colours white, red and black.
In the GTE Am class, it was the class leaders in the #77 Proton Dempsey RSR that romped home first at Le Mans, so it will be important for this team to turn in a top performance at Silverstone. It won’t all be plain sailing though, as the team new to the class this year, namely Project 1, turned in an admirable sixth in class at Le Mans considering it was their first year in WEC and their first race in the 24-Hour of Le Mans. This result would have been a good deal higher had they not had a problem late in the race. The other strong contenders will be the #86 Gulf Racing RSR which was a full second quicker than the rest of the class at Spa, until a pit lane speeding infringement put paid to their chances. Not wanting to be left out of the limelight, the #88 Proton Racing RSR will be keen to lift their fortunes and climb off their position at the bottom of the class.
Manufacturer/team points table after Rounds 1 & 2:
|LMP1||1||Toyota Gazoo Racing||65|
|3||Bykolles Racing Team||12|
|2||38||Jackie Chan DC Racing||43|
|3||37||Jackie Chan DC Racing||42|
|GTE Pro||1||Porsche GT Team||96|
|2||Ford Chip Ganassi Racing||50|
|3||Ferrari AF Corse||45.5|
|GTE Am||1||77||Dempsey-Proton Racing||51|
|3||54||Spirit of Race||31|
Drivers’ points table after Rounds 1 & 2:
|2||Jose Maria Lopez||45|
|GTE Pro||1||Kevin Estre||56|
|GTE Am||1||Christian Ried||51|
|2||Weng Sun Mok||33|
Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “The high grip level at Silverstone puts special demands on the setup of the 911 RSR. Intuition and finesse are needed here. Only those who opt for the right setup will be in a position to fight for victory. We were among the frontrunners to the end at Spa and we scored a double victory at Le Mans – it should continue like this at Silverstone.”
So, everyone has it all to play for, which means that you will see some pretty hot action on track this weekend. The six-hour race at Silverstone gets underway on Sunday, 19 August at midday local time (13h00 CEST).
Porsche Road & Race will be at Silverstone, so be sure to check the website and our social media channels for updates.
Written by: Glen Smale
Images by: Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale & John Mountney