This post will be a bit video intensive, but this is a review of the WEC Silverstone round and a preview of the rest of the 2017 season.
Firstly, in the top class, there's only two real competitors this season, the Toyota TS050 and the Porsche 919, with two cars each entered by their factory teams.
Video of the Toyota TS050:
Other than looks, the biggest difference is under the engine cover. The Toyota has a 2.4 liter twin turbocharged V6, while the Porsche has a mono-turbo 2 liter V4. Both have 8 megajoule capable hybrid systems, but the Toyota harvests all it's energy from braking (kinetic energy recovery, or ERS-K), while the Porsche has a ERS-K for the front axle, and a turbocharger driven heat energy recover turbine (ERS-H) at the rear. Both hybrid systems on both cars have battery storage and allow for part time all wheel drive.
At Silverstone, Toyota came out on top between the two. This was expected as Toyota opted for a sprint race aero set up to give them an extra couple of weeks to develop their Le Mans aero package before debuting it at Spa in Belgium, the next round. Porsche instead concentrated on running their low drag LM aero until after Le Mans in June. However, rain, yellow flags and strategy allowed Porsche to take the fight to Toyota late in the going, but they still came up a few seconds short of an unlikely win.
Toyota review video (shows one of the cars crashing out of contention and the hour long fight to get the car repaired to score points):
And a race report that explains things better than I have, and what went on in other classes running during the same race:
I'll probably prior to Spa write another post that will get more technical into the cars and technology on them, and maybe how things have changed over the years since I serious started to follow road racing back nearly 20 years ago. But I'd like to conclude with a short tribute to Audi Sport, who left Le Mans-style endurance racing after a near 20 year span of involvement.
This was their last WEC race:
A test video of the last Audi LMP1 racing car built to date:
And since I posted about Silverstone, which was a track that Audi Sport sort of owned as far as win record in recent years, here's a couple of videos, first from 2013:
Up next will likely be more about Spa and Le Mans style racing, and eventually, a post about Owls.