The Rebellion Racing squad of Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato celebrated a win ahead of the crews from Toyota Gazoo Racing finishing 51 seconds ahead of the #8 Toyota Hybrid TS050 of Hartley, Buemi and Nakajima, while the weighty championship leaders #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi and Lopez finished two laps down. Ginetta were unable to logistically attend this round of the World Endurance Championship.
It was a 6-hour processional race in the top-category, but from the analysis provided by our friends @thebpillar demonstrates the race long pace advantage of the #1 Rebellion which was tempered once the advantage had been established. Interestingly the #7 Toyota appears resigned to its second place fate, whilst the #8 started on a conservative pace and found areas of improvement in handling its ballasted bulk over time.
The #22 United Autosports Oreca-Gibson of Filipe Albuquerque, Phil Hanson and Paul Di Resta claimed their second LMP2 victory in a row, and the 100th victory for Repton-based Gibson Technology. The United Autosports car dropped back to seventh in the opening stages due to a mis-calculation on tyre pressures, rectified by an early off schedule pit-stop but fought back with Phil Hanson delivering an awesome stint resulting #22 Oreca taking the chequered flag ahead of the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca of Tung, Stevens and Aubry. This followed a late stop for the “Bumblebee” Dutch team #29 Racing Team Nederlands Oreca of Guido Van der Garde, Nyck De Vries and Frits Van Eerd which having run very strongly, especially the early performance from for Van der Garde, taking no prisoners in the passing stakes, had to make a late stop to ensure Van Eerd made the minimum drive time.
The ever-mighty #38 Jota Oreca of Gonzalez, Da Costa and Davidson took up the third place on the podium after an understated fastest-tortoise run from flag-to-flag.
The #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen went from category pole to race victory, finishing with a lap advantage over the #92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of current GTE-Pro champions Estre and Christensen. Rounding out the podium and demonstrating the cross-manufacturer balance, the #51 AF Corse Ferrari of Calado and Pier Guidi just 7.9 seconds off the second placed Porsche.
Whether by design, so as to not interfere with the championship runners, or circumstance the new Corvette C8.R #63 of Magnussen and Rockenfeller ran off the pace and finished sixth ahead of the #91 Porsche which was delayed by electronic issues. Surely the Corvette performance will be adjusted prior to their next guest appearance at Sebring. All valuable testing for the new car though.
Aston Martin rammed home their GTE credentials after the troubling news of the preceeding weeks with a 1-2 finish in LMGTE Am. The #90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage ceased the ad-Vantage taking first place on the podium just 3.6 seconds ahead of the #98 Vantage of the returning from injury Paul Dalla Lana, Darren Turner and Ross Gunn after a race long battle for the victory. The third step was filled by the category pole-sitter #56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Perfetti, Cairoli and Horr.
Next round (#6) of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship is less than a month away on Friday 20th March and set to be a classic, Super-Sebring, or 1000 Miles of Bumps!
The Race Result by Category