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Groups for fans of the World Endurance Championship and other forms of endurance racing.
WEC Round 1 – 6 Hours of Silverstone – April 18th-20th
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22nd April 2014, 14:25 at 2:25 pm
Did any other F1 fanatics go? I enjoyed my extended bank holiday weekend at Silverstone. I sacked Friday off to do other things, but was there bright and early on Saturday and in time for the race on Sunday.
Great to see all the new cars on track. Off track it was notable busier than last year, I’m guessing in no small part to the Webber effect. This year’s Saturday seemed just as busy as last year’s race day. I did see Mark at one point as me made the 10 meter jaunt from the back of the Porsche trucks to the hospitality unit. However he was completely mobbed by about 200 people, including one woman who fell over in the scrum. The lengths people go through just to get a scribble on some paper! Especially when just down the way there was the-driver-formerly-known-as-the-Stig: Ben Collins, and last year’s Le Mans winner and 1 of 3 reigning WEC Champions, Allan McNish standing unattended!
The ELMS race on saturday provided some great on-track entertainment, especially between the GT3 cars (I’m convinced this is the way to go – so many more manufacturers and series seem to be going for these rather than near-enough just Aston, Ferrari and Porsche for GTE).
The WEC race on Sunday was full of incident. I missed a lot of this early on due to sitting at the first few turns, so any slips and spills happened later and the cars headed straight for the pits, but we did see plenty of overtakes in the first 20 or so laps.The Toyota looks horrid this year with those vertical headlights, but does sound rather nice. The Porsche sounds much like the current F1 engines, and the Audi sounds like a spaceship – a most peculiar but very original and pleasing sound.
However I was at Copse when the number 2 Audi slipped on the curb at the entry to Copse, clouting the inside barrier before streaming across the gravel directly towards us. I recorded Benoit Treluyer’s valiant/futile/rather-silly-really attempts to get the car going again:
Shame the race was ultimately red flagged with half hour to go. The rain sort of crept up on the circuit, so when they threw the safety car we were wondering why as it didn’t seem all that wet. Once the red flag came out it bucketed down, and a torrid drive home followed.
Great weekend though. Highly recommend it if you’ve not been before. These cars are the pinnicle of technology, they can run for hours, the racing is close even after hundreds of minutes, there’s always something to look at, and even as busy as it was this year, there’s still breathing and elbow room wherever you choose to sit or stand.
22nd April 2014, 17:00 at 5:00 pmParticipant
Yep I was there (still drying off!). I was sitting at the inside of Stowe for the start, it was very obvious the Audi’s were braking 10-15m later than the Toyotas into Vale so no surprise when they both went past. I saw one of the LMP1’s spin down at Club attempting to lap a GT car too, he left too much room through the right hander and ran wide.
After that I got some lunch (just as it started raining, lovely) and wandered over to Becketts. On the way I stopped off at a grandstand I forgot existed next to the hanger straight bridge to try and keep the rain out of my fish and chips. While I was there there was a car struggling to find a gear, think it was Minassian, rolling down hanger straight at about 10mph which was interesting.
We stayed at Becketts for a while, the LMP cars were attempting some pretty silly moves down the inside into Becketts, eventually it caught out Lotterer who had to take to the grass, which caused Nakajima to spin in avoidance. The Audi was clearly the fastest car through here when it was running properly, once they fixed whatever the issue was on that car Lotterer was really pushing.
Next we walked around the back of the circuit down to Luffield (my favourite viewing spot), we got there just before Treluyer’s crash which cued some hope of Porsche getting back on terms with the #7 Toyota. This was the best spot for listening to the cars, the Audi was barely audible at all, the Porsche very quiet too but with a slightly sweeter note. The Toyota sounded ok but the Rebellion was by far the best. Of the GT cars the Aston was super loud and bassy, which contrasted nicely with the screaming Ferraris with their fire-breathing downshifts, the 911’s being a bit underwhelming in comparison. Interestingly the Rebellion was taking a different line to the other LMP1’s out of Luffield, it looked very scruffy in comparison.
For the end of the race we went back up to the inside of Stowe, sat right in front of the pit entrance which is a great place to keep on top of the strategy, as well as a popular overtaking spot. Unfortunately they decided to put a massive advertising banner on the fence which somewhat spoiled the view of the pit entry. I think it was the right decision to put the safety car out when they did, the rooster tails had been visibly growing and then there was a large downpour about ten minutes later, although it was still drivable at least where we were.
If anyone is thinking of going to a WEC event I cant recommend taking an FM radio (preferably one with comfortable earphones) enough. It was great being able to walk around and keep up with the action, and not having to sit right next to a loudhailer, plus they double up as as ear defenders for when the Astons go by :P
23rd April 2014, 10:12 at 10:12 am
The Rebellion definitely sounded the most proper of the LMP’s. Shook your guts every time it went past. The Aston was definitely the pick of the GT noises. Low and guttural. The BMW Z4 in the ELMS the day before also sounded very similar.
23rd April 2014, 11:33 at 11:33 amParticipant
I’m going to Spa to watch WEC in a few weeks, really looking forward to it. Just 28 euros for a 6 hour race!
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