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).