Audi has done it again winning round 2 of the 2016 FIA WEC season, the 6 Hours of Spa. A problem-hit Porsche claimed P2 overall while LMP1 privateer team, Rebellion Racing scored their first podium victory by finishing third. Ferrari stole the show once again in the LMGTE-Pro class while Aston Martin won the amateur class.
Porsche started from pole with the #1 and #2 cars after dominating qualifying yesterday. Both Audi and Porsche would then face a series of problems that allowed Toyota to take the lead after 3 hours of intense racing. Anthony Davidson was leading in the #5 Toyota TS050 while the #8 Audi R18 of Jarvis Oliver and Lucas di Grassi followed in second. The second Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi was running third.
The #2 Porsche suffered hybrid issues allowing the Toyota and Audi to elope away while the #1 sister car had to undergo a gearbox change. Likewise, the #7 Audi R18 faced similar troubles that robbed them valuable time through extra pit stops. Everything seemed fine for Toyota until the fifth hour when the leading car incurred engine problems allowing the #8 Audi to take the lead. At the same time, the #2 Porsche climbed to second place while the two LMP1 privateer cars of Rebellion Racing got promoted to third and fourth.
The top grid would remain unchanged for most of the final minutes, eventually it was the #8 Audi that crossed the finish line first leading the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb. Third and fourth places went to Rebellion with the #13 and #12 R-One-AER cars respectively.
As for LMP2 class, the #36 Signatech Alpine-Nissan claimed the lead with only five minutes left in the race and went ahead to score a thrilling victory. The car was driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Stephane Richelmi. Second place in this class went to Extreme Speed Motorsport with the #31 Ligier JS P2 Nissan. The final spot on the LMP2 podium went to RGR Sport with the Morand Ligier car of Filipe Albuquerque, Ricardo Gonzalez and Bruno Senna.
Ferrari once again dominated Pro category with AF Corse team, a second straight win for the #71 Ferrari 488 GTE of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon – the #51 sister car retired from the lead with only 10 minutes left. A stunning performance by Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK allowed them to score the first podium win for the new Ford GT with a P2 finish. Third place in LMGTE-Pro class went to the #97 Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
Aston Martin scored an extra podium victory by winning the LMGTE-Am class with the #98 car of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda. They shared the podium with the #83 Ferrari 458 Italia from AF Corse and the #50 Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R.
[Photos by Marcel Langer]
The big race is up next on the calendar – the 24 Hours of Le Mans which will take place on June 18.