Senna, Kobayashi go 1-2 in class in WEC debuts

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It’s been several years that the words “Senna wins” could be typed for a race report. Bruno Senna brought those legendary words back to print on Sunday afternoon in the FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Silverstone.

The ex-Williams Formula One driver, Senna drove a flawless race with co-drivers Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke to deliver a GTE Pro class victory for Aston Martin Racing in the team’s No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage.

“I’m really happy to start my GT career with a win,” Senna told the official WEC website. “It’s been great joining Aston Martin Racing and to get a pole position and win and go home from our first WEC race of the year with so many points for the championship is unbelievable. It was a tough race; we had to push hard while avoiding accidents, but my team did a great job. We must now keep pushing hard; the competition here is very, very strong.”

Incidentally, Senna’s last win came at Silverstone, but on the old course layout in the 2008 GP2 sprint race there. He finished second in that year’s championship to Giorgio Pantano, and moved to LMP1 sports cars in 2009 before making his F1 debut in 2010 with HRT.

The other ex-F1 pilot from 2012 now racing in WEC, Kamui Kobayashi, also starred. The ex-Sauber man co-drove the No. 71 AF Corse-entered Ferrari F458 Italia with Toni Vilander and finished second in class behind the Aston Martin.

A bevy of ex-F1 drivers compete in the series and Allan McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro, LMP1) and Antonio Pizzonia (G-Drive by Delta-ADR Oreca 03 Nissan, LMP2) also won their classes. McNish’s lone season in F1 was in 2002 with Toyota, while Pizzonia raced parts of 2003 through 2005 with Jaguar (now Red Bull) and Williams.

Racing world reacts to Danica Patrick’s Daytona, Indy double news

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Here’s a sampling of quotes and social media reaction to Danica Patrick’s news announced earlier Friday that this would be her last full-time season as a driver, and that she’ll race in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 only in 2018.

This ends a full-time stretch in the top flights of NASCAR and IndyCar. She was in NASCAR from 2012 through 2017, and IndyCar from 2005 through 2011.

Her’s her own post on Twitter and Instagram.

Well…. 2018 Daytona 500 and Indy 500 here I come. 🙌🏼

A post shared by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on

IMS President J. Douglas Boles

“We’re glad Danica plans to return to the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil next May,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Her final career start will make what’s already shaping up to be a terrific Month of May even more interesting for our fans.

“It’s also fitting that Danica is wrapping up her career at the place and in the race where she became a household name and captured the world’s attention in 2005 – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. We’re looking forward to seeing her back in an Indy car next May alongside all of the tremendous drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

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