There should be a flash banner here. There are 2 main reasons why you may not be able to see it:
  • You do not have the required version of Flash MX installed (v8.0+) in your browser
  • JavaScript is disabled in your browser

Silverstone Lessons Learned?
Aside from the racing itself there are always issues to consider at the start of a new season.  What went well, and what didn't?
Let's start with the positives – there were plenty of them:
Both the WEC and the ELMS had grids of high quality with numbers that show clearly the demand for this sort of racing on both the European and Global stages.
There are few, if any, 'grid fillers' in either Series, quality abounds, perhaps the best ever in the modern era.
And there were plenty of new players, particularly in the ELMS, to welcome: Morand Racing and DKR Engineering in LMP2 and RAM Racing in GTE plus the new Team Endurance Challenge in LMPC and Ecurie Ecosse and MOMO Megatron DF1 in GTC, somebody, somewhere has done good work talking up the newly revamped Series.
GTE has certainly taken a step forward in numbers and in quality too, more cars, more big name drivers.  The GT World Champions will have had to earn that title!
The new GTC class in the ELMS was a success, it added variety with a trio of well prepped GT3 spec cars, saw an excellent run from the correctly ambitious Ecurie Ecosse BMW squad and managed to be a complimentary, rather than confounding, factor to the GTE battle - A few more cars would add further spice but Silverstone showed that the outline concept can work.
The openness in the paddock was there again, if anything that's another area where things have taken a step forward with media and public access better than ever.

The ‘star’ driver quotient is clearly on the up too, the arrival of Bruno Senna and Kamui Kobayashi adds interest beyond the usual sportscar fanbase and the quality and pace of the likes of Mike Conway, Antonio Pizzonia adds spice too.  The second full season Toyota makes a major contribution to the potential show, Anthony Davidson in particular carries a fan base with him that will boost the interest level through the year.
The fan zone was welcomed by many too, particularly so when the weather was so challenging - we'd like though to see more of the competing manufacturers making the effort though.  
Eduardo Freitas's usage of a Full Course Yellow system, avoiding the use of the Safety Car and bringing the field under control whilst the marshals dealt with the gravel lowest part of a couple of drivers' days is to be commended too, it kept the shape of the race and probably assisted in one or two cars making the distance.
There are a couple of things that it is difficult to properly assess that debuted at Silverstone.
WEC Qualifying
Firstly the new WEC qualifying format, designed to ensure that the TV audience and paying fans weren't left with cars playing a waiting game through an already short session.
Timing system problems frankly ruined the session as a spectacle (though many Radio Le Mans listeners at the circuit said that they enjoyed the 'maximum attack' action on track that it gave).
The system relies on every car fielding two drivers during the session, each of whom must complete two flying laps - The car's qualifying time is the mean average of the faster of the two laps for each driver.  That's a mouthful to explain and is impossible to comment upon as a spectacle thus far.
What we do know is that there is already a press conference scheduled at Spa with the qualifying format for WEC as its subject.
All that this writer will offer is that if the objective is to have exciting track action it seems counter-intuitive to adopt a format that requires such detailed and repeated explanation to a trackside or broadcast audience.  The qualifying formats for FIA GT1, The Ring 24 and for that matter F1 all produce the sort of spectacle that is being sought here.
On the timing system debacle it has to be said that it was extraordinary to see an already complex system descend into near chaos as a public spectacle at the hands of a system that proved able to collect the data but not compile it.
Alkamel Timing have been a hugely useful resource provider to DSC since their tenure with the ILMC and WEC began and we know them well enough to believe that these problems will have been to do with a systems failure rather than a lack of planning - The meeting (presumably without coffee) to discuss this though must have been an uncomfortable place to be.
ELMS Race Format
It's again difficult to assess the strength or otherwise of the 3 hour race distance, simply because we haven't yet seen one!
At this point we could go into naysayer mode, criticise the April date for this first Super Endurance Racing Weekend and say "we told you so" but the reality is that this writer has suffered similar conditions to that which forced a (totally justified) early end to the ELMS race in August!
We'll keep powder dry and allow the ELMS the opportunity to run a full race distance before deciding whether those amongst their current (and previous) entrants that have poured cold water on the 3 hour format are right or wrong to do so.
There was some unhappiness around some of the decision making around the race being called.  In LMP 2 for example Thiriet by TDS pitted from the lead to ensure their driver didn't exceed the mandated maximum, losing the lead, and subsequently the race, as they did so.
GTE leaders Proton meanwhile did not, left Nick Tandy in the car beyond his hours and thereby retained the lead (and eventually the win).
Tandy's pace from the start had been fantastic, but as the weather took hold the gap stabilised and the car on the move was the JMW Ferrari, Andrea Bertolini using his excellent Dunlop wets to great effect and catching the three cars ahead hand over fist.
The Safety Car ended the charge but there was no penalty for Proton - Some cried foul post-race whilst others observed that the final timing was very lucky indeed for the Porsche man, the teams having been briefed pre-race that the pits would be closed for three laps if the Safety Car was scrambled and that this would be taken into account if a driver was out of hours.
Onto things now that I do have a well formed view or two upon:
The Endurance Super Racing Weekend is a great concept, but it is a concept that was spoilt for many by the continued shortcomings of the 'Home of British Motorsport'
Yes we know about the financial realities of life, the reasoning behind the choices made when the Wing was built, yada yada yada, but there's a simple truth - it has badly damaged Silverstone as a race weekend venue when more than one major Series is on the bill.
On the upside the facilities in the Wing are way better for media than the Silverstone of old - that's a nice to have but it doesn't offset some rather glaring issues:
Having no windows in the Press Room is one of the all time idiotic, self centred and selfish pieces of nonsense on the F1 design palette.
Even if you have wall to wall TV coverage for every single track session it barely makes sense - but who does? 
On Friday an ELMS practice session had completed its first laps before we even realised that it had started, because you can't see the cars or indeed hear them!  Yes the Internet works and you get a nice cup of tea but the only method of following a session is a timing screen - I could do that on an iPhone from my sofa at home.
And then there were the ELMS teams, housed down in the old pit lane, where they serviced and pitted the cars, though the sessions and race started and finished outside the Wing.  There was actually a decent crowd for some of the weekend, but the ELMS paddock might easily have believed that someone had forgotten to open the circuit gates!
This also meant that the teams were several minutes away from race control, amongst other things, there are reports from some that it made some issues difficult, including face to face comms with some key officials. 
From a live media point of view it meant the need, if you could, to double up the number of people working, no chance of 'popping down' to the pits to get a comment or explanation, and precious few facilities to assist media who wished to cover the Series from the old pits area.

It was flattering to find that many of the teams were following the action with the assistance of our live ticker service but worrying that, at times, it seemed that we, from half a mile away, seemed to know better than they did what was actually going on!
The major problem is space and access - the available space around the Wing is enough for parking and a fanzone to support a main event but not nearly enough to also support a substantial support race as well - that's a hell of a choice to have to make isn't it?
There were rumblings too post weekend that the balance between VIP and public shuttle buses between the two paddocks was heavily skewed towards the VIPs and competitors - there are good reasons for that, but that feels like an entirely unacceptable message to the fan base of part of the sport that has long prided itself on fan access, and that because of the very nature of the racing encourages fans to roam around the circuit during the event, including during the race itself.
Yes an access bridge will help enormously, particularly if a support paddock is part of the plan, but for now the reality is that a circuit redesigned specifically to retain Formula One has left everyone else paying for it in financial, aesthetic and operational terms.

Enough about the venue's all too apparent failings though, the challenge now for the WEC is to move forward, and the signs are that they understand that fully.  The level of understanding and co- operation between the WEC staff and their opposite numbers at the ACO remains good at most levels though the few areas where that isn't the case should take a moment to consider how that is beginning to look externally.
There is a real opportunity to break through here, with a market ready to embrace the cars, the stars, and the racing.  It would be quite ridiculous to miss those opportunities through argument and anguish over who is in charge of a supporting function at a particular event, however important that race might be.

Spa next for the WEC and a bigger grid for the now traditional Le Mans warm-up fixture – A new Toyota and plenty of new boys now with racing senses and machinery better dialled in – We’ll be there, and we’d suggest that if you can, you should too!