- Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer take second win
- Puncture throws Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish back
- Audi wraps up Manufacturers’ Championship title early at Silverstone *
In addition to the fourth race victory, Audi also has another reason to celebrate: the brand from Ingolstadt holds an unassailable lead in the WEC Manufacturers’ Championship. After four titles in the Rally World Championship between 1982 and 1984 as well as victory in the FIA Touring Car World Cup in 1995, Audi has once again won another World title. *
In contrast, the excitement in the drivers’ classification increases following a change of leaders: after their second win Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer head the standings for the first time this season. At the half-way stage they hold a small 4.5 point lead from former leaders Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.
The Danish-Scottish duo was plagued by bad luck on their way to third place at Silverstone. The two Audi works drivers had to settle for third place in their Audi R18 ultra after having to make an unscheduled pit stop. Only a few minutes after McNish had taken over driving duties a slow puncture on the right rear forced him to make a tire change. As a result, the sportscar, powered by a conventionally powered V6-TDI engine, lost a lap early in the race and thus any chance of playing a bigger role in the intense battle of the concepts. The car still reached the finish only 19 seconds behind the second placed Toyota.
Audi starts the fifth round of the WEC in only three weeks time. Local matador Lucas di Grassi reinforces the Audi driver line-up as team mate to Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen.
1. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 194 laps
2. Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima (Toyota) + 55.675s
3. Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 ultra) + 1m 14.427s
4. Belicchi/Primat (Lola-Toyota) – 5 laps
5. Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD-Honda) – 5 laps
6. Prost/Jani (Lola-Toyota) – 5 laps
7. Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck (HPD-Honda) – 7 laps
8. Martin/Charouz/Graves (Oreca-Nissan) – 11 laps
9. Potolicchio/Dalziel/Sarrazin (HPD-Honda) – 11 laps
10. Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov (Oreca-Nissan) – 11 laps
An excellent result after an incredibly difficult race. From start to finish, there was an intensive battle with Toyota who were very strong. We mainly won the race due to the efficiency of our technology. So we were able to clinch victory in the race with the help of our strategy. The stop-and-go penalty for car number 1 was unfortunate because the contact between the GT car that pulled to the right and our R18 e-tron quattro that slightly drove toward the left could also have been viewed as a normal racing accident.
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest):
That was a very interesting race. Toyota was even a bit faster than I’d been expecting. It was an intensive battle that pushed us to the limits. Our car number 1 also had that bit of luck which you simply need in racing, while number 2 suffered quite a bit of misfortune. All drivers drove brilliantly and left the cars undamaged. We saw a great fight for six hours straight. For us, too, it was nerve-wracking. ‘Thank you’ to the drivers and to our team for making it possible for us to continue our string of victories.
Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1):
This was a fantastic victory that wasn’t so easy. I’m extremely happy because this is my first victory in a 6-hour race. I had the lead twice before at Silverstone, and now – finally – we managed to clinch victory. Toyota was a very powerful challenger. Our squad did a perfect job at the stops and was really quick. Simply brilliant!
André Lotterer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1):
A fantastic day! Audi has pocketed the title and my two team-mates and I are leading the drivers’ standings. This was a nearly flawless race. There was only a stop-and-go penalty for Ben (Tréluyer) after which the situation became pretty tight. But since there was another safety car period we were spared from a brief refueling stop at the end. The car was running perfectly. It was a great weekend that I’m really happy with. I’m already looking forward to Brazil.
Benoît Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1):
I’m very pleased. I’ve never won a 6-hour race before. This was the next nice victory for the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The team did an outstanding job. But our race was pretty strenuous due to the nice battle with Toyota. This makes the result even sweeter.
Tom Kristensen (Audi R18 ultra #2):
Congratulations to Audi and to our sister car on having clinched victory. We were initially trying to save fuel to prevent having to come in for a last short refueling stop at the end of the race. But then, unfortunately, a few things interfered with our plan. Due to the safety car periods the other cars used less fuel as well. Unfortunately, Allan had to pit due to a puncture. We managed a nice recovery. Naturally, third place is not a dream result. It could have turned into a clearly much closer battle of our car with Toyota.
Allan McNish (Audi R18 ultra #2):
The strategy played a major role today. Our car was very quick. But we also knew how to save fuel. So, theoretically, we would have had to have one pit stop less than our rivals. Unfortunately, a puncture deprived us of our chance. The safety car didn’t help us with our strategy either. And so, in the end, we finished in third place.
WEC Silverstone – Audi Race Facts
12:00 Ambient temperature 16 degrees, asphalt 17
12:02 Start: Lotterer remain at P1, Kristensen is at P3
12:21 #7 Toyota overtakes #1 Lotterer for P1
12:39 #7 Toyota in pit, #1 Lotterer retakes the lead
12:46 #1 pit stop from P1, diesel
12:48 #2 pit stop from P1, diesel
12:50 Order after first pitstops: Toyota #7 P1, Audi #1 P2, Audi #2 P3
13:00 #1 P2 -8.804 #2 P3 -21.713
13:35 #1 pit stop from P1, diesel, tires, Lotterer out, Tréluyer in
13:41 #2 pit stop from P1, diesel, tyres, Kristensen out, McNish in
13:49 #2 slow puncture right rear
13:50 #2 pitstop from P3, tyre, diesel
13:53 #1 collision with Ferrari #57
13:58 Safety car at the track
14:00 #1 P2 -3.368 #2 P3 -1 lap
14:08 Green flag
14:14 #1 Tréluyer at P1, pit stop for Toyota #7
14:32 #1 pit stop from P1, diesel
14:35 #1 Tréluyer just one second behind Toyota #7 in P2
14:45 #1 at P1, but is overtaken by #7 again
14:46 #2 pit stop from P3, tyres, diesel
14:58 #1 takes the lead after pit stop of Toyota #7
15:00 #1 P1 + 1.08.944 #2 P3 -1 lap
15:10 #1 Stop and Go penalty for accident with Ferrari #57 at 13:53. Advantage over second-placed car reduced from 1m 12s to 39.5s
15:23 #1 pit stop from P1, diesel, tires, Tréluyer out, Fässler in
15:37 #2 pit stop from P3, diesel
16:00 #1 P1 +22.328 #2 P3 -1.20.951
16:15 #1 pitstop from P1, diesel
16:23 #2 pit stop from P3, tyres, diesel, McNish out, Kristensen in
16:31 Safety car no. 2 after accident of Oreca #23
16:35 Green flag
17:00 #1 P1 +2.132 #2 P3 -1.48.099
17:11 #1 pit stop from P1, diesel, tires, Fässler out, Lotterer in
17:20 #2 pit stop from P3, diesel
18:00 #1 P1 +55.675 #2 P3 -1.14.427
* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA
[Source: Audi Motorsport]