Audi reaffirmed its excellence at the FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa by taking victory and overcoming a trio of equally fast Porsche 919 Hybrids. This is Audi’s second victory after starting the season with a win at Silverstone- thanks to the team of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler in the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro who have recorded two wins in two starts.
Porsche had locked the front row after qualifying 1-2-3 and thus had the advantage over every other team. All was going according to plan until the #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Nick Tandy made contact with the #91 Porsche 911 of Kevin Estre. Tandy rushed to the garage while Estre was penalised for the incident. Elsewhere, the leading #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber was slammed with a stop-and-go penalty for using a run-off area. The car also had to visit the garage with a rear suspension problem.
The #18 Porsche 919 thus took second in LMP1 followed by the #17 sister car, giving Porsche a double podium finish. Fourth place went to the #9 Audi R18 e-tron quattro which led the best- placed Toyota TS 040 Hybrid of Stephane Sarrazin, Alex Wurz and Mike Conway. The #19 Porsche 919 managed to finish sixth while the #8 and #1 Audi and Toyota LMP1 cars crossed the line in seventh and eighth respectively.
The #38 JOTA Sport Gibson-Nissan of Harry Tincknell rocked LMP2 category to claim a hard-fought victory owing to the fact that they started with a drive-through penalty after jump-starting the car. The #28 Ligier of Pipo Derani, Ricardo Gonzalez and Gustavo Yacaman gave G-Drive a much-needed victory after the team finished second in class while the #43 Team Sard Morand Morgan Evo claimed the final spot on the podium.
Aston Martin dominated LMGTE by winning both Pro and Am classes. The #99 Aston Martin Vantage V8 of Fernando Rees, Alex MacDowell and Richie Stanaway claimed their very first WEC win to lead LMGTE Pro class while Porsche scored another double podium by taking the remaining two spots. The #92 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR piloted by Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki was second in class while their sister #91 Porsche 911 RSR claimed third.
Ferrari was out of luck in the Pro class after the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia was given a one-minute stop-and-go penalty, losing its chance to stop Rees’ Aston Martin. The Italian team also dropped a tyre during the final stop and the gap increased even more. Nevertheless, all was not lost as Ferrari scored a double podium finish in the Am class behind the winning #98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda.
Round 3 of the FIA WEC season will see the first 24-hour race of the year – the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13.