Porsche Steal the Lead just before Halfway

by Alice Holloway

As the 6 Hours of Silverstone hits the halfway mark for the first round of the Wolrd Endurance Championship the rain has started to create havoc on the field. Porsche have taken the lead of the race with a perfectly timed pit stop whilst Signatech Alpine has commanded the LMP2 field since the start of the race.

After a fault on the car, pole sitter #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK was forced to had the lead of the class to the sister car. the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing has used pit stops and the pace of the car perfectly to be at the front of the LM GTE Am class.

Credit: Craig Robertson/Speed Chills

The start of the race was clean as the 27 car grid poured around the first few corners. Some cars were forced wide to avoid contact, but there were no major incidents. Brendon Hartley managed to get past Neel Jani in the sister car to take third in class in the first lap.

It looked like Toyota Gazoo Racing had done enough to keep the Porsches behind. Although their lap times were similar the Japanese team managed to pull out a five-second lead during the opening stages, something that remained about the same gap until the end of the first half of the race.

Credit: Craig Robertson/Speed Chills

With the rain beginning to fall, Porsche made their stint last longer than the rest of the LMP1 Hybrid cars and pitted for wet weather tyres. This meant that they gained 25 seconds on the field when the rest of the grid pitted for the slicktermediates as the rainfall got heavier. Timo Bernhard leads in the #2 Porsche as the half hour mark passes.

In LMP2 the class has belonged to the #36 Signatech Alpine. Nicolas Lapierre set a stunning pace at the beginning of the race to take the lead of the class from pole sitter Alex Lynn in the #26 G-Drive Racing. The G-Drive has suffered a few issues seeing it drop towards the back of the LMP2 class. the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing car is looking competitive and has challenged the #36 crew for the lead of the class a few times. It is still quite close in LMP2 and should be an interesting race to the end.

Credit: Craig Robertson/Speed Chils

Andy Priaulx did a fantastic job off the line to keep the pole position they had scored yesterday. However, a fault in the door forced the car to start to fall down the grid. The driver’s side door popped open a couple of times whilst the car was speeding around the track, causing concern for the team. Luckily the problem was rectified with a slam of the door but Priaulx had to pit early which dropped him out of sync with the rest of the class’ pit stops.

This promoted the second Ford GT #66 into the lead of the class. The Ferraris have put in a good showing today and are competitively running second and fourth in class, right in the fight with the Fords. Porsche GT Team looked to be in the leading fight at the start of the race but they have slipped back a little as the race has gone on.

The leader of Am has shuffled throughout the first three hours of the race. Firstly, it looked like Aston Martin were going to walk away with the class victory whilst Porsche looked like they were struggling to keep up. But it is an endurance race and anything can happen over a long period of time. The rain caught out the #98 crew as they had a spin, losing them time to the field. A Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin have led the class in the first three hours, with the #77 Porsche taking the halfway lead.

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