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WEC: Birthday boy Davidson hails Silverstone win

Anthony Davidson celebrates his birthday in style with victory in the 2014 World Endurance Championship opener, the Silverstone 6 Hours.
Anthony Davidson says an excellent strategy in difficult conditions – and a dose of weather-related luck - was key to his Toyota's victory on the Silverstone 6 Hours, the opening round of the 2014 World Endurance Championship.

The first round of the new era for WEC sportscar racing, Toyota defied the attention surrounding defending champion's Audi and high-profile entrants Porsche to show superior race pace at Silverstone as their rivals endured an otherwise difficult day.

Even so, it took a critical decision in the first hour for the race to come the way of the No.8 machine occupied by Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Lapierre, with the Swiss driver making the call to go on intermediate tyres as rain began to fall. With Toyota keen to protect its advantage, it put the No.7 machine – then leading – onto wet tyres in order to hedge its bets.

However, the intermediate call would turn out to be the correct one, with Buemi storming into the lead, before Lapierre and Davidson protected its one lap advantage over the sister car of Alex Wurz, Stephane Sarrazinn and Kazuki Nakajima.

Indeed, Davidson – who turned 35 this week – admitted to that he was struggling in the dry after being forced to change the capacitor on its Hybrid system, but says the changeable conditions brought out the best in the team.

“We knew it was going to rain and being a local I knew it was too - I was telling the guys it's been dry for too many days, it's definitely coming,” he joked. “We set the car up accordingly, so qualifying would always be a compromise.

“We were on the back foot in our car after we had to change the capacitor. It wasn't running at the same level as the No.7 car. This car survives on its Hybrid system so as soon as your start degrade the power from having an old capacitor, you lose performance, so we were struggling in the dry.

“We managed the conditions well, we read it beautifully and Sebastien made a very good call to go onto the intermediates at the start to recover time and go into the lead. When I jumped into the car after Nico, I needed to get that lap back on No.7 and once that was done we could just consolidate and take it home to the flag. It was tough with the conditions, we are glad to have survived it.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Davidson/Buemi/Lapierre - Toyota Racing [pic credit: FIA WEC]
Davidson/Buemi/Lapierre - Toyota Racing [pic credit: FIA WEC]
Andy Priaulx, Ford, WEC [Credit: Jakob Ebrey]
Manor using Dunlop tyres at Silverstone WEC
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Manor using Dunlop tyres at Silverstone WEC
Manor using Dunlop tyres at Silverstone WEC
Andre Fassler, Audi, WEC [Credit: XPB]
Andre Fassler, Audi, WEC [Credit: XPB]
Brendon Hartley ensured that Porsche remained at the top of the WEC Prologue timesheets
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#2 Porsche sets pace on day one of WEC prologue   [pic credit: Porsche]
Toyota TS050 Hybrid, [Credit: Toyota]
Audi R18 e-tron quattro, WEC [Credit: Audi Motorsport]
Aston Martin Racing, WEC, [Credit: Young Driver ApS]
Ben Barker joins Gulf Racing for 2016 WEC   [pic credit: Total 911]
JOTA Sport G-Drive, WEC, ELMS [Credit: JOTA Sport]
Toyota TS050 - Toyota Gazoo Racing

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