FIA WEC: Solid first outing for Mark Webber and Porsche

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It was not a bad way to begin a new career for former Formula One star Mark Webber, and it was not a bad way for his Porsche team to return to the top level of sports car racing.

Webber, Timo Bernhard, and Brendon Hartley may not have had the speed to challenge the winning Toyotas at the Six Hours of Silverstone, but they were able to claim a spot on the overall podium with a third-place result.

Additionally, Porsche claimed a 1-2 finish in the GTE-Pro category as Marco Holzer, Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz – in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR – earned the win by 45 seconds over the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR and its team of Patrick Pilet, Jorg Bergmeister, and Nick Tandy.

The Pilet-Bergmeister-Tandy combo actually held the point for much of the World Endurance Championship’s season opener, but pitted just prior to the safety car coming out as rain began to severely intensify at Silverstone.

That left Holzer-Makowiecki-Lietz ahead in their No. 92, and ultimately, the race was stopped just less than a half-hour from its scheduled finish.

However, Porsche likely knows that it still has work to do, particularly in terms of gaining speed with their Prototypes, the 919 Hybrids.

As Motorsport.com’s Steven Cole Smith reports, the Webber-Bernhard-Hartley No. 20 919 Hybrid logged a 1:45.2 as the team’s best lap of the day. However, it was slower than that of the No. 1 Audi (1:44.2) and both of the Toyotas (who finished 1-2 in the race after both Audis crashed out).

Ferrari junior Ilott victorious in Macau F3 qualification race

Theodore Racing
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Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott will start the 64th Macau Grand Prix from pole position after beating his Formula 3 rivals to victory in Saturday’s qualification race.

Ilott, 19, started third on the grid on Saturday behind pole-sitter Joel Eriksson and McLaren junior Lando Norris, but made a good start to rise to second early on.

Ilott hounded Eriksson for position for much of the race before battling past at Mandarin on Lap 7 as his Swedish rival struggled to keep his tires alive.

With Eriksson unable to respond, Ilott ultimately crossed the line more than seven seconds clear to take his first Macau win and secure pole for Sunday’s main event.

“We started quite strong as I got up to second from third which was not too bad. Then in the middle part of the race I had a good pace and I got past Joel for P1,” Ilott said.

“After that I managed to pull away. It was a good race, even quite relaxing at the end. I’m really happy for the result. Thank you SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, they did a great job and it should be good for tomorrow too.”

Eriksson held on to second ahead of Sergio Sette Camara, who completed the podium ahead of Maximilian Günther in P4.

Ferdinand Habsburg finished fifth ahead of Pedro Piquet, while Norris was left to settle for a lowly P7 after a clutch issue off the line caused him to drop down the order.

You can see full results from the Macau F3 qualifying race here.