Audi win the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

posted in: LMGTE-Am, LMGTE-Pro, LMP1, LMP2, Race, Review, WEC | 0

The #7 Audi wins for the sec­ond time this sea­son, this time at Spa-Fran­cor­champs, in anoth­er clas­sic bat­tle with the #18 Porsche 919 Hybrid. With the race going all the way down to the final pit stops, Tre­luy­er had to pass Jani’s Porsche on track to sucure vic­to­ry. The ear­ly leader, the #17 Porsche thought back to third posi­tion with the #9 Audi in 4th. #2 Toy­ota in 5th and the #19 Porsche in 6th. The reign­ing world cham­pi­ons could only man­age eighth place in their #1 Toy­ota.

Audi win at SPA 2015The LMP2 class saw a guest car win. Last year’s Le Mans class win­ners, Jota Sport, once again won their class in a world cham­pi­onship race, despite an ear­ly set­back after being penalised for jump­ing the start. G-Drive’s #28 Ligi­er JSP2 was sec­ond across the line in LMP2, mean­ing they claim race win­ning points as the Jota is not eli­gi­ble to score WEC points. The SARD-Morand team scored third posi­tion in their first race of the sea­son.

The #99 Aston Mar­tin took the spoils of vic­to­ry in the GTE-PRO class, claim­ing Aston Martin’s first win of the WEC sea­son in the process. The #92 Porsche crossed the line sec­ond in class with Richard Lietz behind the wheel fol­lowed by the sis­ter car of Sven Muller and Kevin Estre, despite their ear­ly clash and penal­ty. The #51 AF Corse Fer­rari came home 4th after a late penal­ty saw them drop out of the podi­um posi­tions in class. Behind them, the #97 and #95 V8 Van­tages, and the #71 Fer­rari 458 Ital­lia

Aston Martin win at SPA 2015GTE-AM was also vic­to­ry for Aston Mar­tin. Dal­la Lana, Lamy and Lau­da took the #98 car to vic­to­ry in class ahead of the #83 AF Corse Fer­rari and the #72 SMP Rac­ing Fer­rari in third place in class. Abu Dhabi beat Dempsey in the bat­tle of the Pro­ton ran teams to 4th and 5th respec­tive­ly. The trou­bled #96 Fer­rari made the fin­ish in 6th place in class, although 10 laps of the class win­ning pace.

After the excit­ing race start in the first three hours, the rac­ing lost none of it’s flair as the race entered it’s final stages. Right at the start of the fourth hour, Mark Web­ber man­aged to get past both Toy­otas for posi­tion with­in the space of a lap, in his recov­er­ing #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

With only 2 and a half hours remain­ing the Strak­ka LMP2 car had a spin on the final cor­ner due to break issues. The British team was not the only team in strife how­ev­er as at the same time the ByKolles team offi­cial­ly with­drew their car from the race. After a long trip to the pits for repairs on the #1 Toy­ota, the TS040 final­ly made it back out on track just before the end of the fourth hour. In the mean­time, the #91 Porsche and #96 Aston Mar­tin gained dri­ve through penal­ties for dis­re­gard­ing blue flags.

In the fifth hour of the race, two old friends from Sil­ver­stone met once again. Lieb, Dumas and Jani’s #18 Porsche was once again bat­tling on track with Lot­ter­er, Fassler and Treluyer’s #7 Audi in LMP1. After Audi changed their pit stop strat­e­gy, the Porsche took the lead. Although the race was enter­ing it’s final stages the dra­ma kept on com­ing. The GTE-PRO lead bat­tle fell the way of the #99 Aston Mar­tin after their close bat­tle with the #51 Fer­rari was end­ed when the Ital­lian team were hand­ed a 1 minute stop go penal­ty for a pit stop infringe­ment. The penal­ty dropped what could have been a win for the AF Corse team down to a dis­ap­point­ing 4th in class. In LMP2 a strong run from Bird, Canal and Rusi­nov was over when their #26 G-Dri­ve car went up in smoke, hand­ing vic­to­ry to Jota. It was not all doom and gloom for the Russ­ian team how­ev­er as the #28 sis­ter car took it’s sec­ond con­sec­u­tive sec­ond place fin­ish of 2015, and the World Cham­pi­onship points for a race win.

In the end it was to be Audi’s pit strat­e­gy which made all the dif­fer­ence and saw the #7 Audi win ahead of the #18 Porsche for the sec­ond time in suc­ces­sion.