Webber finishes third at Silverstone

QUEANBEYAN motorsport legend Mark Webber has completed a smooth transition to endurance racing, placing third in round one of the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone in Britain last Sunday.

Ironically his solid performance came just hours after another controversy within former Formula One team Red Bull involving team racers Daniel Riccardo and Sebastian Vettel at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Webber's six hour race was shortened to 167 laps due to heavy rain, but Webber and his new Porsche teammates in German Timo Bernhard and New Zealander Brendon Hartley were able to sneak a podium spot two laps behind Toyota, who claimed both first and second.

It caps off what proved a challenging time for the local car racer and former Canberra Raiders ball-boy, who endured a number of team clashes with Vettel while racing with Red Bull last year.

Webber's father, Alan Webber, said it was an important time for his son, who he said had decided where he wanted to move on to at the start of last year's Formual One season when the issues with Red Bull became apparent.

Mr Webber said with his son debuting in endurance at Silverstone, it was like a home-coming with the course being "down the road" from his house.

"We don't have an endurance race in Australia, so as far as he's concerned, that'll be the home race for him," he said.

Mr Webber said while it had been great for Mark to move on in his career, he still had positive contact with Red Bull, and no personal relationships had been damaged by his departure in professional racing.

"We haven't burnt any bridges there as far as Mark is concerned. He's still a Red Bull athlete and enjoys a good relationship with the owners of Red Bull."

Mark Webber and his teammates are driving a Porsche 919 Hybrid Le Mans Prototype model, which is designed for high performance racing and is one of the most powerful race car types in motorsport.

Webber was extremely happy with his result at Silverstone.

"It was a great experience for me, I learnt so much today in the race. We were spot on with the pit stops in terms of the tyre strategy," he said on his website.

Webber's next race is just eight days away in Spa, Belgium, on May 3, before what will be one of the biggest moments of his career- the famous 24 Heures Le Mans event in Le Mans, France on June 14.

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