Porsche, Audi lead Friday practice in WEC opener at Silverstone

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The first day of the 2014 World Endurance Championship season is in the books, with Porsche and Audi leading today’s two practice sessions for Sunday’s curtain-raising Six Hours of Silverstone.

Porsche’s No. 14 919 Hybrid for drivers Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, and Marc Lieb set the fastest time in Practice 1 at 1:44.042, which was four-tenths quicker than the No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Lucas di Grassi, Tom Kristensen, and Loic Duval.

Also not far behind in third place was the No. 8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre, and Sebastien Buemi, who were just less than two-tenths of a second behind the No. 1 Audi.

Those three manufacturers’ sister cars also claimed positions fourth through sixth, with privateers Rebellion Racing winding up seventh in the session at 1.5 seconds off the No. 14’s pace.

The No. 26 G-Drive Morgan/Nissan of Roman Rusinov, Olivier Pla and Julien Canal topped the P2 category (1:51.004), while GTE-Pro was led by Porsche’s No. 91 911 RSR (Patrick Pilet, Jörg Bergmeister, Nick Tandy; 1:58.981). In GTE-Am, the No. 81 Ferrari 458 Italia of Sam Bird, Stephen Wyatt and Michele Rugolo was quickest (2:01.210).

As for the more recent Practice 2, Audi and Toyota turned the tables on Porsche with the No. 1 of di Grassi/Kristensen/Duval logging a 1:43.134 with di Grassi at the controls. The No. 2 Audi (Andre Lotterer/Marcel Fassler/Benoit Treluyer) moved up to second on the time sheets, as Lotterer turned in a 1:43.534.

Toyota’s No. 7 Hybrid for Alex Wurz, Kazuki Nakajima, and Stephane Sarrazin was third-quickest (1:44.097 with Wurz). The WEC’s most-hyped newcomer, Mark Webber, got Porsche’s No. 20 919 up to P4 (1:45.051).

G-Drive’s No. 26 was fastest again in P2 (1:50.401 with Rusinov), while Porsche’s No. 92 911 RSR (Marco Holzer, Frédéric Makowiecki, Richard Lietz) went to the top in GTE-Pro (2:00.455). Another 911, the No. 88 of Christian Ried, Klaus Bachler, and Khaled Al-Qubaisi, led in GTE-Am (2:00.570).

A third practice session and qualifying will take place tomorrow at Silverstone to lead into Sunday’s main event at 7 a.m. ET (12 Noon local time).

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.