FIA WEC, SPA 6hrs – And it’s a 1-2 for Toyota
Toyota Gazoo Racing scored a 1-2 at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, with the #8 TS050 - Hybrid of Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima finishing just 2 seconds ahead of a late charge from the sister car #7 of Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi. Although the #9 finished 5th and 2 laps off the pace, Toyota’s entry of 3 cars showed that reliability was strong in the Japanese outfit as they pursue their quest for the ‘big one’ next month.
The #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Tim Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley made it onto the podium into 3rd after being hampered by a slow puncture, and the #1 car of Jani, Lotterer and Tandy had their race compromised with the timings of two full course yellows.
The Bykolles Racing ENSO CLM P1/01 – Nismo of Oli Webb, Dominik Kraihamer and James Rossier rounded up the LMP1 pack finishing 5th overall.
The top step went to the class pole sitters of G-Drive’s Roman Rusinov, Pierre Thiriet and Alex Lynn, who had a lead of almost a minute over the #31 Vaillante Rebellion of Canal, Prost and Senna who took their first podium in LMP2. Third place was the Jackie Chan DC Racing of Tung, Jarvis and Laurent.
The Tockwith Motorsports Ligier was the only LPM2 entry not to finish retiring just 9 minutes from the end of the 6hrs with gearbox issues on their debut outing.
Another 1-2 finish went to Italy’s AF Corse team, with the #71 of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon taking the top step after a closely fought battle with the sister car #51 of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in what some might refer to at times as ‘touring car-esque’!
The rest of the class fell into a two-by-two formation with the #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK GT of Mücke, Pla and Johnson rounding up in the podium positions ahead of the GT #67, followed by the two Porsche GTs and AMR taking last place in the ark!
Even with a 10 second penalty for a pit stop infringement, the #98 Aston Martin Vantage of Dalla Lana, Lamy and Lauda was not going to be robbed of being top of the AMs this weekend finishing over 30 seconds clear of the Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 of Ried, Cairoli and Dienst, with Silverstone winners Clearwater Racing Ferrari 488 GTE #61 of Mok, Sawa and Griffin taking the last podium step of the race.
Ladies and Gentleman, the next outing sees us at the 85th running of the Le Mans 24 Heures at the Circuit de la Sarthe on 17th-18th June (testing on 4th June).