The Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima emerged victorious at the 6 Hours of Silverstone, while pole-sitter Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 Toyota hit the wall hard.
Lopez, who had claimed pole position in his maiden outing, dipped a wheel onto the wet kerb at Copse Corner and slammed into the barrier, damaging the front end.
The Argentinian was taken to hospital as a precaution after the medical light on the car was triggered, but not before Lopez drove the car back to the pits for repairs. Once the #7 was fixed, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi continued to finish the race in fourth place, albeit 38 laps down.
The chaos allowed the #8 Toyota Hybrid to take the lead, before becoming embroiled in a battle with the #2 Porsche of Brendon Hartley in the closing minutes. Buemi kept control of the fight and crossed the line to claim the opening victory of the season.
Nick Tandy in the #1 Porsche rounded out the podium finishers in the LMP1 class.
In LMP2, it was victory for Jaguar Formula E reserve driver Ho-Pin Tung who, partnered with Oliver Jarvis, beat Nico Prost in the Vaillante Rebellion to the line by less than 20 seconds. DS Virgin Racing reserve Alex Lynn started the race from pole in his #26 G-Drive Racing, but came home in fifth place ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne in the #24 CEFC Manor TRS Racing.
Formula E season one champion Nelson Piquet Jr brought the #13 Vaillante Rebellion home eighth in class.
It was a disappointing day for Sam Bird in the #71 AF Corse, who had taken second on the grid in the LMGTE Pro class, but he and Davide Rigon struggled in the race and could only managed fifth place, while one-time Jaguar Racing test driver Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx took the spoils in the #67 Ford GT.
Topher Smith | e-racing.net