Mother Nature wanted her presence felt at the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps today as snow showers pelted and painted the Ardennes landscape white and slick. Needless to say, it was an intense race with some theatrical moments — 4 safety cars, 2 full-course yellow flags — and finally — a red flag to end them all.
LMP1: Toyota #8 Took the Win
One could argue that the weather took the win, but it was victory for Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid. This was the threesome’s 4th win, which also earned them a 31-point lead as they head to Le Mans 24 Hours.
The news was grimmer for the Toyota sister car, the pole-starting #7 — piloted by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and Jose Maria Lopez. The car took 6th place after a lap-pilfering 11-minute pit stop due to a brake sensor issue nearly halfway through the race.
Not one to pass up a proper chance at the podium, a fierce battle for second place broke out between the #3 Rebellion R-13 and #11 BR Engineering BR1. It was the Rebellion — shared by Gustavo Menezes, Thomas Laurent, and Nathanael Berthon — that finally took that second spot on the podium.
LMP2: A First Victory for DragonSpeed
Pastor Maldonado, Anthony Davidson, and Roberto Gonzalez have much to celebrate as they took their first win in LMP2. Maldonado (ex-F1 winner) overtook both Gabriel Aubry in the #38 DC Racing car and Nicolas Lapierre in the #36 Signatech Alpine entry during the third safety period of the fifth hour.
After starting on pole, the G-Drive Racing car of Jean-Eric Vergne, Job Van Uitert and Roman Rusinov took second place.
GTE: Aston Martin Scored Again
#97 car — Aston Martin’s new Vantage GTE shared by Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn earned them their second victory of the season after a class battle that was anyone’s guess due to track conditions and subsequent tyre strategies. Martin took a 10 second lead over Antonio Felix da Costa in the #82 BMW following the penultimate restart of the race.
The #51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado took second place.