Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren)Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima today took their fourth win of the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season at the TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

Despite mixed weather conditions, 52,000 spectators enjoyed the WEC event over the week.

The No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 HYBRID trio claimed a famous win amid a variety of challenging rain and snow showers which hit the Belgian venue throughout an exhilarating and unpredictable race. There were four safety car periods for deteriorating conditions through the six hours, and the race was eventually red-flagged with 11 minutes to go as the weather closed in once again.

In winning, Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima are one step closer to the 2018-19 LMP World Endurance Drivers Championship which they now lead by 31 points. This title will be decided at the Super Final of the season, the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 15-16 June.

The pole-sitting No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing car of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José Maria Lopez led comfortably until just before the half-distance mark but lost 11-minutes and four laps in the pits after a sensor problem on their hybrid system had to be repaired. Kobayashi was over 50-seconds in the lead when the issue occurred, and he was forced to pit. The car eventually finished in sixth place in the LMP1 class.

It was still a day of celebration for Toyota Gazoo Racing as the Japanese manufacturer took the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance LMP1 Championship with a round to spare.

The No.3 Rebellion R-13 shared by Gustavo Menezes, Thomas Laurent and Nathanaël Berthon took second place overall after a close battle with the No.11 SMP Racing car of WEC debutant Stoffel Vandoorne and his teammates Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov.

The No.17 SMP car of Sergey Sirotkin, Stephane Sarrazin and Egor Orudzhev placed fourth after its race was affected by a lost wheel in the second hour.

LMP2: DragonSpeed takes first WEC victory

The DragonSpeed crew of Pastor Maldonado, Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez claimed a first win in LMP2 after a stunning victory which the American team moulded in the second phase of the six-hour race.

Maldonado drove a stellar triple stint to surge ahead of early leaders, the No.38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07 and the No.36 Signatech Alpine Matmut entry. The third Safety Car period in the fifth hour saw a fired-up Maldonado pass Gabriel Aubry and Nicolas Lapierre during his remarkable charge.

The pole-sitting G-Drive Racing car of Jean-Eric Vergne, Job Van Uitert and Roman Rusinov took second place after Vergne was able to leapfrog both the Signatech Alpine Matmut and No.38 Jackie Chan Racing cars in the final two hours.

The first hours of the race saw both of these team entries lead at stages, but the shake-up of the order under Safety Cars and Full Course Yellow periods changed the shape of the hotly contested class. As a result, the Signatech trio of Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet slightly extend their lead in the standings to four points over Ho-Pin Tung, Stéphane Richelmi and Gabriel Aubry.

Aston Martin win action-packed LMGTE Pro race while Porsche seal Championship title

Six hours of extreme weather conditions saw Aston Martin Racing’s No.97 crew of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin take their first win of the season in the highly-competitive LMGTE Pro category. The win was made even more special for Martin as he celebrated in front of an elated home crowd.

Meanwhile, Porsche took the World Endurance GTE Manufacturers’ Championship with one round still remaining. After the No. 82 and No. 91 crews finished third and eighth respectively, the Porsche GT Team have a 93-point lead in the overall standings making it mathematically impossible for Ferrari to catch them.

The No. 51 car driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado took the runner-up spot for Ferrari. During the race’s closing stages, the AF Corse entry was hot on the heels of category winner Aston Martin Racing with less than a second separating the two cars. However, a red flag was issued 11 minutes before the end of the race due to deteriorating weather conditions putting an end to the on-track battle.

After nearly six hours of racing, the BMW Team MTEK crew made up of Augusto Farfus and Antonio Felix De Costa and Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK’s Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell were neck and neck for P4. When the race was red flagged, only a tenth of a second separated the two crews emphasising the hugely competitive racing in LMGTE Pro. BMW were awarded fourth, with Ford rounding out the top five.

Dempsey-Proton Racing take second consecutive win in LMGTE Am

The LMGTE Am field once again saw plenty of action from start to finish but the top spot of the podium eventually went to Dempsey-Proton Racing’s No. 77 car trio made up of Christian Ried, Riccardo Pera and Matt Campbell. The squad’s emphatic victory is the second in a row for the German-based team having also taken the spoils in Sebring back in March.

Pole-sitter TF Sport finished runner-up with Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey and Charlie Eastwood at the wheel of their Aston Martin. Clearwater Racing’s trio of Luis Perez-Companc, Matteo Cressoni and Matthew Griffin took the third podium spot in the Ferrari. The Singaporean team enjoyed a close battle with the No. 98 of Aston Martin Racing and the No. 86 Gulf Racing team in the early stages of the race.

Category leaders Team Project 1 finished fifth for Porsche – less than half a second behind Spirit of Race in the Ferrari. At the top of the standings, Team Project 1 now lead Spirit of Race by 23 points meaning everything is to play for at the season-closing 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race results
1 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing S. BUEMI / K. NAKAJIMA / F. ALONSO Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 133 5:44:41.101 9 2 1:58.056 213.6
2 3 Rebellion Racing N. BERTHON / T. LAURENT / G. MENEZES Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 M 132 5:44:58.794 1 Lap 1 Lap 9 75 1:59.393 211.2
3 11 SMP Racing M. ALESHIN / V. PETROV / S. VANDOORNE BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 M 132 5:45:05.350 1 Lap 6.556 9 43 1:59.474 211.0
4 17 SMP Racing S. SARRAZIN / E. ORUDZHEV / S. SIROTKIN BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 M 131 5:45:01.895 2 Laps 1 Lap 9 72 1:58.547 212.7
5 1 Rebellion Racing N. JANI / A. LOTTERER / B. SENNA Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 M 130 5:44:44.193 3 Laps 1 Lap 8 64 1:58.750 212.3
6 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing M. CONWAY / K. KOBAYASHI / J. LOPEZ Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 129 5:44:45.682 4 Laps 1 Lap 8 39 1:57.394 214.8
7 31 DragonSpeed R. GONZALEZ / P. MALDONADO / A. DAVIDSON Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 M 129 5:44:55.919 4 Laps 10.237 8 74 2:04.155 203.1
8 26 G-Drive Racing R. RUSINOV / J. VAN UITERT / J. VERGNE Aurus 01 - Gibson LMP2 D 129 5:44:59.874 4 Laps 3.955 9 43 2:04.320 202.8
9 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut N. LAPIERRE / A. NEGRÃO / P. THIRIET Alpine A470 - Gibson LMP2 M 129 5:45:00.351 4 Laps 0.477 8 43 2:05.556 200.8
10 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing H. TUNG / G. AUBRY / S. RICHELMI Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 129 5:45:04.546 4 Laps 4.195 7 71 2:04.334 202.8
11 28 TDS Racing F. PERRODO / M. VAXIVIERE / N. NATO Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 128 5:45:22.429 5 Laps 1 Lap 8 62 2:04.312 202.8
12 29 Racing Team Nederland F. VAN EERD / G. VAN DER GARDE / N. DE VRIES Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 M 127 5:45:02.620 6 Laps 1 Lap 11 2 2:04.843 202.0
13 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing D. HEINEMEIER-HANSSON / J. KING / W. STEVENS Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 127 5:45:24.016 6 Laps 21.396 11 54 2:04.641 202.3
14 50 Larbre Competition E. CREED / R. RICCI / N. BOULLE Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 M 126 5:45:29.348 7 Laps 1 Lap 10 59 2:07.275 198.1
15 97 Aston Martin Racing A. LYNN / M. MARTIN Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Pro M 124 5:44:45.343 9 Laps 2 Laps 7 46 2:15.702 185.8
16 51 AF Corse A. PIER GUIDI / J. CALADO Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro M 124 5:44:46.231 9 Laps 0.888 8 40 2:16.336 184.9
17 92 Porsche GT Team M. CHRISTENSEN / K. ESTRE Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 124 5:44:49.146 9 Laps 2.915 8 46 2:15.556 186.0
18 82 BMW Team MTEK A. FARFUS / A. DA COSTA BMW M8 GTE LMGTE Pro M 124 5:44:53.459 9 Laps 4.313 8 73 2:14.208 187.9
19 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK A. PRIAULX / H. TINCKNELL Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 124 5:44:53.575 9 Laps 0.116 9 46 2:14.914 186.9
20 71 AF Corse D. RIGON / S. BIRD Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro M 124 5:44:53.622 9 Laps 0.047 7 48 2:16.109 185.2
21 95 Aston Martin Racing M. SØRENSEN / N. THIIM Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Pro M 124 5:44:54.507 9 Laps 0.885 7 72 2:16.276 185.0
22 91 Porsche GT Team R. LIETZ / G. BRUNI Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 124 5:45:04.278 9 Laps 9.771 7 72 2:15.784 185.7
23 81 BMW Team MTEK M. TOMCZYK / N. CATSBURG BMW M8 GTE LMGTE Pro M 124 5:45:05.877 9 Laps 1.599 8 52 2:14.515 187.4
24 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK S. MÜCKE / O. PLA Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 123 5:44:53.812 10 Laps 1 Lap 8 52 2:15.629 185.9
25 77 Dempsey - Proton Racing C. RIED / R. PERA / M. CAMPBELL Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 122 5:44:49.089 11 Laps 1 Lap 7 44 2:18.004 182.7
26 90 TF Sport S. YOLUC / E. HANKEY / C. EASTWOOD Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am M 122 5:44:54.433 11 Laps 5.344 8 44 2:17.933 182.8
27 61 Clearwater Racing L. PEREZ-COMPANC / M. CRESSONI / M. GRIFFIN Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am M 122 5:45:05.233 11 Laps 10.800 8 74 2:18.341 182.3
28 54 Spirit of Race T. FLOHR / F. CASTELLACCI / G. FISICHELLA Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am M 122 5:45:21.806 11 Laps 16.573 9 71 2:17.516 183.4
29 56 Team Project 1 J. BERGMEISTER / P. LINDSEY / E. PERFETTI Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 122 5:45:22.294 11 Laps 0.488 7 72 2:17.763 183.0
30 98 Aston Martin Racing P. DALLA LANA / P. LAMY / M. LAUDA Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am M 121 5:44:49.972 12 Laps 1 Lap 7 39 2:19.509 180.7
31 86 Gulf Racing M. WAINWRIGHT / B. BARKER / T. PREINING Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 121 5:45:26.932 12 Laps 36.960 7 69 2:16.802 184.3
32 70 MR Racing M. ISHIKAWA / O. BERETTA / E. CHEEVER Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am M 120 5:45:23.027 13 Laps 1 Lap 7 59 2:18.079 182.6
33 88 Dempsey - Proton Racing G. RODA / G. RODA JR / M. CAIROLI Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 115 5:45:02.549 18 Laps 5 Laps 8 2 2:17.769 183.0
34 4 Bykolles Racing Team T. DILLMANN / O. WEBB / P. RUBERTI Enso CLM P1/01 - Gibson LMP1 M 95 5:45:25.920 38 Laps 20 Laps 9 40 2:04.591 202.4

Circuit Best Laps by Class
LMP1 Stéphane SARRAZIN 05/05/2017 1:53.658 221.8 Kph
LMP2 Jean-Eric VERGNE 03/05/2019 2:00.003 210.1 Kph
LMGTE Pro Olivier PLA 04/05/2018 2:12.420 190.4 Kph
LMGTE Am Matteo CAIROLI 03/05/2019 2:14.246 187.8 Kph

Circuit Race Records by Class
LMP1 Mike CONWAY 04/05/2019 1:57.394 214.8 Kph
LMP2 Pastor MALDONADO 04/05/2019 2:04.155 203.1 Kph
LMGTE Pro Antonio Fe DA COSTA 04/05/2019 2:14.208 187.9 Kph
LMGTE Am Thomas PREINING 04/05/2019 2:16.802 184.3 Kph  By Melissa Warren 

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