After qualifying in the pole position for spots #1 and #2 Audi still continued it's dominance in the WEC World Endurance Championships this past Sunday as the No. 2 E-tron Quattro driven by Allan McNish, Loic Duval and Tom Kristensen made it's way at the series inaugural event held in Austin.
Circuit of the Americas as usual provides a stunning track and the drivers love this track stating that it's one of the best new tracks that they have driven on. Scotsman, Allan McNish, said in a press interview that, "This is one of the best NEW tracks that I've driven on." Now for those that are not familiar with International Sports Car racing such as F1, Le Mans, or the World Endurance Championships, there was a short primer on it for Saturday's American Le Mans series race report. As in that race, the World Endurance Championships also has different classes where all the cars compete on the track at the same time. There is the LMP1, LMP2, and LMGTE AM classes.
The LMP1 class
The LMP1 race was a stunner as the #3 pole position of the Toyota Hybrid driven by Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Stéphane Sarrazin was able to secure the second place spot on the podium. Some amazing driving by Buemi made some of the difference and they were only 23 seconds behind Audi. They secured some of the fastest pit times and slow pit times could have been to the demise of the Audi team. With some "Dukes of Hazzard" jumps in the first turn of the track in some of the later laps, Toyota was able to pass Audi. However, as McNish stated, "We needed to be 22 seconds ahead in the lead for the win." When Buemi of Toyota was asked about what might have made a difference in the race, he mentioned that the heat on the track and the ability to use more KERS Kinetic Energy Recover Systems. Also known as boosters, Buemi mentioned that being able to deploy it more would have been nice. The theory makes sense yet the overseers of these races have limited their use. Hybrids can store energy recovered from braking in a flywheel system, and then deploy them at the press of a button for straightaways or passing maneuvers.Using KERS obviously gives the hybrids the advantage as Audi has led all of the hybrids and continues to extend it's lead with just three races left in the season.
The LMP2 classes and the GT Classes
The entire race was 6 hours beginning at 11 AM with the checkered flag coming down around 5 PM. With over 33,000 fans in attendance on the grassy knolls and the stands, the racing action was intense and only matched by the intensity of the Texas sun to make it a race for the other classes. Nissan's No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca finished first over the No. 49 Pecom Racing Oreca 03 – Nissan securing the LMP2 victory.Aston Martin swept the Grand Touring classes and the LMGTE Pro class was dominated by the No. 99 Aston Martin Vantage V8. The No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia came in second. Aston Martin co-drivers Bruno Senna and Frédéric Mackowiecki won by a margin of 15 seconds.
Check out Circuit of The Americas for F1 (Formula One tickets starting at $49, $79 and $129 for single day tickets.
Circuit of the Americas
Circuit Of The Americas is a multi-purpose facility located at 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd in Austin, TX 78617. This track is already a clear favorite with drivers with snaking turns and fast straightaways. This track will host the most prestigious racing events in the world, including the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™. It is the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the U.S. Built around a state-of-the-art 3.4-mile circuit track with capacity for 120,000 fans and an elevation change of 133 feet, the facility is designed for any and all classes of racing – from motor power, to human power. Circuit of The Americas is ideally situated on a 1000-acre site in southeast Austin, approximately two miles from Austin Bergstrom International Airport, with scenic views of downtown. Racing events are also a great family event with a a family area as well as many on going activities that fans will enjoy. It's a facility that puts Texas on the map for premier racing. Visit circuitoftheamericas.com for more information on racing and events.
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