I don’t think I’m the only one with writers’ block. Having witnessed an all too predictable Season 7 (‘Toyota vs Toyota’), I’d somehow hoped that the short summer break might somehow see an injection of pizzazz into what is not only the pinnacle of global sportscar racing, but amongst aficionados might easily be considered the finest of all. And whilst change is undoubtedly in the air (Season 9 promising to be the great new era of the Hypercar), for now, not only must we lament the loss of some notable manufacturers and teams from the grid, but the departure of its two leading stars (Fernando Alonso & Jenson Button) has left a void that others simply cannot fill.
Star quality is a must these days; fans crave it, sponsors demand it. Those who were happy to pay to see the shortened four-hour race were certainly not deprived of spectacle, both on and off the track, but the empty grandstands were the surest sign that magnificent cars alone will not create the return on investment needed to build a sustainable format for the future. This, of course, was merely the opening episode of a season that will culminate at Le Mans next June, and there will be no shortage of talent or fans for that particular event. However, if WEC is to truly take its brand forward, then it doesn’t just need a spattering of big names, it needs heroes.
Here are twenty of our favourite shots from WEC’s Silverstone opener that help to tell the weekend’s story.
* * *Images: Steve Hindle (The Black Stuff) and Howard Fielding (PhotoWodUK).