2015 World Endurance Championship action gets under way this weekend with the 6 Hours of Silverstone. But can Toyota make a winning start to its title defense?[Not a valid template]
It’s been four months since Toyota secured its maiden World Endurance Championship in Bahrain (and Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi the Driver’s Championship), but ahead of this weekend’s 6 Hours of Silverstone season opener, the marque appears to have its work cut out.
Pre-season testing at Paul Ricard after all proved an all-Porsche affair, with the #19 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb taking the top spot ahead of Porsche teammates Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber in the #17 machine. If that wasn’t enough, the champs were also outgunned by both Audi R18 e-tron quattros (which includes newboy Oliver Jarvis who replaces the retiring ‘Mr Le Mans’ himself, Tom Kristensen).
Not the most auspicious of starts for the revised TS040 Hybrid then (but there’s always the 2017 WRC campaign to look forward to…)
Nor will it be for the brand new GT-R LM NISMO, Nissan having already confirmed that the newboys will miss the opening two rounds of the WEC season after a troubled start to its development program. The radical front-wheel-drive prototype however is expected to make its debut at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, as will three tributary liveries for Porsche, the first of which is inspired by Richard Attwood and Hans Hermann’s 1970 Le Mans-winning 917KH.
Webber, Bernhard and Hartley will compete in a red ‘Salzburg Design’ livery, while Jani, Dumas and Lieb will use a black racing livery to commemorate the record lap for a production sportscar at the Nordschleife.
All up to speed? Good. Now watch the teaser clip…