The first round of the World Endurance Championships kicks off this weekend at Silverstone. In the reworked Porsche 919’s, Neel Jani, Nick Tandy and Andre Lotterer in the No1 along with Earl Bamber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley in the number 2 car begin their Championship campaign.
The team have stated they expect a difficult start at Silverstone as the Hybrid LMP’s will run with significantly less downforce than the Grand Prix track demands.
Meanwhile rivals Toyota run their heavily modified TS050 HYBRID with drivers Jose Maria Lopez, the WTC champ making his Toyota race debut, along with Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi and in the number 8 sister car Kazuki Nakajima, Sebasian Buemi and Anthony Davidson. In contrast to the Porsche 919 Hybrid, Toyota will be running the high downforce version of the TS050 that should be more suited to the demands of Silverstone.
In the support races Alfonso Celis Jr, the Sahara Force India test driver, topped the first session on Thursday in the Formula V8 3.5 Series, beating Pietro Fittipaldi by only fractions of a second. The Series is the inaugural season with new backers RPM Racing after Renault Sport announced its withdrawal at the end of last season.
While In FIA Formula 3, Lando Norris campaigns for the Championship title for Carlin along with last years runner up Maximilian Gunther. Also in the series are the likes of Mick Schumacher, Pedro Piquet and Harrison Newey.
In FIA European Le Mans Series, Russian squad G-Drive Racing took first place in free practice 1 in their Oreca 07. Meanwhile Beechdean AMR continue their campaign in the Aston Martin Vantage, they recently announced their sabbatical from the British GT series, where they have had 4 championship wins, to concentrate fully on the European Le Mans Series.
The fan favourite event which brings a taste of Le Mans to the UK, continues across Easter weekend culminating in the 6 hour World Endurance Championship race on Sunday.
All images ©Andy Fitzpatrick unless otherwise stated