Toyota has won the 2017 FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa after leading for most part of the race with two of their three cars. Sebastien Buemi crossed the finish line first in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid leading Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 sister car. Porsche took the remaining podium spot after Brandon Hartley finished third in the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
Ferrari dominated LMGTE-Pro and finished with a double 1-2 podium while Ford secured the final spot in this class. Aston Martin staged a lights to flags victory in LMGTE-Am class with the #98 Vantage of Pedro Lamy who crossed the finish line first ahead of the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche 911 RSR and the #61 Ferrari 488 GTE from Clearwater Racing.
6 Hours of Spa 2017 Results
1. Toyota TS050 Hybrid, #8 – Buemi, Davidson, Nakajima
2. Toyota TS050 Hybrid, #7 – Kobayashi, Conway, Lopez(Absent due to injury)
3. Porsche 919 Hybrid, #2 – Bamber, Hartley, Bernhard
1. G-Drive Racing, #26 Oreca 07
2. Vaillante Rebellion, #31 Oreca 07
3. Jackie Chan Racing, #38 Oreca 07
1. #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE
2. #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE
3. #66 Ford GT
1. #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage
2. #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche 911 RSR
3. #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari 488 GTE
Andre Lotterer started the race from pole in the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, leading the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway and two other Toyota cars, #9 and #8. The second Porsche lay a distant fifth. Lotterer was able to fend off a quicker Conway in the first 20 minutes but the Toyota eventually founds its way through and snatched the lead with a thrilling overtaking move. Not long after that Sebastien Buemi in the #8 Toyota followed through into second place.
The Toyotas stopped first, allowing Brendon Hartley to take the lead momentarily after staying out longer in the #2 Porsche. Nick Tandy was now in the pole starting #1 Porsche which had dropped down to fifth place after stopping for tires in a new strategy by the team.
In LMGTE Pro, Davide Rigon managed to lead comfortably in the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE, Harry Tincknell lead a pack of two Ford GTs in second and third. Pedro Lamy led LMGTE AM in the Aston Martin Racing Vantage followed by the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE and Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR.
The second hour in LMGTE Pro saw more drama as two AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs, #51 of Alessandro Pier Guidi and #71 of Sam Bird collided. Bird emerged in the lead after that shunt but it was Olivier Pla who led in the second hour before Pier Guidi snatched the lead again giving Ferrari a 1-2 stint. The #67 Ford GT dropped back after suffering a fuel issue. The #98 Aston Martin remained unchallenged in the second hour in LMGTE Am class.
After three hours, Toyota held the upper hand in LMP1 with a 1-2 lead thanks to the #7 Toyota with Kamui Kobayashi behind the wheel, later handing over to Conway and #8 Toyota with Anthony Davidson behind the wheel. Neel Jani and Timo Bernhard were third and fourth in the #1 and #2 Porsche respectively. Ferrari continued to hold a 1-2 stint in GTE Pro, #71 followed by #51 with #66 Ford GT in third. The #98 Aston Martin still led GTE Am followed by the #77 Porsche.
Porsche lost even more time during a full course yellow in the fourth hour which allowed the Toyotas to extend the lead, the final two hours were pretty much a Toyota domination. The #8 car was now in the lead with Buemi behind the wheel leading Kobayashi in the #7 car. The final stops for the LMP1 cars came during the last 15 minutes where Buemi stopped first, followed by the #7 car allowing the #2 Porsche of Hartley to take the lead. The #2 car also stopped and rejoined in third.
Ferrari remained unshaken in the LMGTE Pro class,leading with two AF Corse cars, the #71 and #51 while the #66 Ford GT lay third, the #67 Ford GT managed to overcome the earlier fuel issue to climb up to fourth place. And it was no different for AMR in LMGTE Am with the #98 Aston Martin Vantage which held the lead throughout the entire race. The #77 Porsche 911 RSR remained second ahead of the #61 Ferrari.
Photos by Florent Gooden, FIA WEC