Toyota took victory in the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone, driving a Toyota TS050 Hybrid cooled by PWR Performance Products, as Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi overcame a stiff challenge from Porsche to win.
Having dominated qualifying, the high-downforce Toyotas retained a clear edge in pace over the Le Mansspec Porsches in full dry conditions, but rain showers and two caution periods helped keep the German manufacturer in contention until the end.
Toyota took four new tyres as Nakajima handed over to Buemi for the last stint, giving the Kiwi driver an eight-second advantage with 31 minutes remaining.
But Buemi was able to carve into the Porsche’s cushion at a rate of over a second a lap, before making the inevitable pass for the lead at The Loop with 12 minutes left.
Buemi went on to seal the win – his and Davidson’s first in the WEC since Shanghai 2014, and the #8 crew’s first as a trio – by 6.173s.
Behind the lead pair, the #1 Porsche of Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy finished third.