Mark Webber could not contain his joy as he marked his new sportscar career with a fine run to the podium on the Silverstone 6 Hours, the Australian insisting it cannot be underestimated the effort Porsche has put in to get on terms with its rivals.

The Australian anchored the No.20 Porsche 919 Hybrid car in difficult weather conditions after Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley had worked their way up to third position in earlier stints, the trio enjoying a fault-free run on a day that saw Audi suffer two crashes and the sister Porsche bow out with mechanical issues.

Hailing the effort of the Porsche team to bring its project together and prove competitive from the off, Webber was delighted to be stood on the podium in his first race with the team.

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"It is a great day for sportscar racing," said Webber. "To have Porsche on the podium is a massive step for us because the amount effort that has gone in has just been incredible. I have seen new teams - even the last team I was with in F1 - start off fresh, so the effort Porsche have put in is astronomical.

"We were a bit over-awed and a bit intimidated by pulling it all together but it got us a result today. Timo's stints were phenomenal and Brendon was the great backbone in the middle. I just had to drive around at the end."

Indeed, though Porsche has impressed over a single lap since hittng the track with the 919 Hybrid, there remained concerns that it didn't quite have the measure of Audi and Toyota over an endurance distance.

However, though this would ultimately prove to be the case, the Bernhard/Hartley/Webber car would show flashes of form which, coupled to its reliability, would help it secure a very welcome podium behind the Toyotas.

"The pace was a bit all over the joint. We had people on slick, some on slick inters and Audi got a few own goals, but that can happen to any of us. We were there to capitalise. Toyota deserved the win, but we know we have some good races to come - this was a nice surprise for us."