Halfway through the 2018 6 Hours of Silverstone and it’s all Toyota up front, the two TS050 HYBRIDs now two laps ahead of the LMP1 privateer contingent, which now consists of just six cars.
The #8 currently leads, Fernando Alonso getting the better of Mike Conway in the #7 halfway through the third hour. It has been a close battle between the two Hybrids, the cars jostling for position and times, both cars sharing the lead of the race at various points.
The two Rebellion R-13s are now third and fourth, after further woes for the SMP Racing crew. Andre Lotterer in the #1 continues to run ahead of the #3. The #17 BR1 from SMP, which was third heading into hour three, is now fifth after Egor Orudzhev had a spin and as a result an additional stop in the final 15 minutes of the hour as the safety car came out to clear up debris.
Two of the LMP1 teams have had issues during the second and third hours, the ByKolles CLM retiring after Rene Binder flew off the circuit as a Full-Course Yellow was called, in avoidance of the Larbre Ligier which put its anchors on suddenly to adhere to the speed limit. Binder went off track and into the barriers under the bridge at the exit of the complex, spinning and coming to a halt in the middle of the circuit.
DragonSpeed’s BR1 also had its issues, but is still running, the car spending an extended period in the garage due to various niggles.
In LMP2, there’s been a change up front, the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA losing its lead due to a puncture with just over three hours remaining, Jazeman Jaafar’s hard work all coming to nothing, as it dropped to third after its tyre change.
The issue promoted the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA to the lead, and the TDS Racing ORECA and Signatech Alpine to second and third respectively.
The third hour ended under safety car, during a pit cycle, once the LMP2 runners got back in sync into the opening minutes of hour four, TDS Racing held the lead for the first time, with Loic Duval installed.
In the GTE Pro class, the Ford GT’s had shown strong performance in GTE-Pro and had a steady grip on the race if not yet a stranglehold at the half-way point. Andy Priaulx’s progress at the head of the field was convincing, the #67 car now in the hands of Harry Tincknell under a safety car period caused by bodywork debris from a puncture for the #71 AF Corse Ferrari.
Having been running 1-2, the Fords were currently split by the #51 AF Corse car, which had benefitted by a late routine stop just before a full course caution.
The Porsche team had led in the charge of Christensen and Estre’s #92 911 RSR, but tyre degradation was proving an issue into the middle sector of the race, the #92 car running slightly out of sequence.
Aston Martin’s earlier form had lost some of its fire, but both cars were still lapping well, as the BMW’s could only seem to hang on at the back.
The #71 AF Corse car would suffer a violent puncture, debris from which would bring out the safety car. Early pit stops for the Fords would put them put of sequence, but an issue with the door on the #66 car would put it out of contention.
In GTE-Am, Egidio Perfetti had pedalled the Project 1 Porsche hard to stay ahead of the TF Sport Aston Martin. The #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche had continued steadily in third, the leading three comfortably separated as the third round of stops commenced just as the Safety Car period cleared.