6H Spa 2 Hour Report: Alpine leads; Estre gives Porsche advantage in LMGTE Pro
The headline after the first two hours of racing at TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, round 1 of FIA WEC.
Leaders at a glance after 2 Hours:
Hypercar - No.36 Alpine ELF Matmut
LMP2 - No.22 United Autosports USA
LMGTE Pro - No.92 Porsche GT Team
LMGTE Am - No.83 AF Corse Ferrari
• Toyota leads majority of first two hours of WEC 6 Hours of Spa during uninterrupted action throughout
• No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entered GR010-Hybrid, driven initially by Mike Conway, leads from pole but soon defers to sister car of Sebastien Buemi in strategic move
• Buemi loses some time after confused first pit stop but retains lead up to first driver change stops when he hands over to Brendon Hartley.
• Alpine Elf Matmut place third but close to Toyotas after strong first two stints from Andre Negrao.
• Nicolas Lapierre sets fastest lap of race in second hour and looks strong in slightly off-set pit-stop cycle to Toyotas. The French outfit take the lead after 1hr50mins of racing and enjoy 22-second advantage
• Gap between Hartley and now Jose-Maria Lopez driven No.7 car in second and third is 18-seconds
• No.92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR–19 driven by Kevin Estre dominates early running as Frenchman build 15-second gap over AF Corse Ferraris
• Neel Jani takes over the cockpit and enjoys enhanced cushion with a 26-second lead as third hour begins
• No.51 AF Corse Ferrari driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi leads the chase as LMGTE Pro class becomes a race of tyre strategy. Calado takes over just before third hour arrives
• Second AF Corse entry started by Miguel Molina places third after surviving big lock up at La Source on first lap and some contact with Real Team Racing LMP2 car
• No.63 Corvette Racing entry started by Antonio Garcia sits fifth. Some contact with No.91 Porsche in second hour but Oliver Gavin takes over.
• Reigning champions, United Autosports USA control LMP2 class as Phil Hanson enjoys excellent double stint before handing over to Filipe Albuquerque
• Albuquerque extends lead over the field and enjoys a 46-second advantage
• Second placed Team WRT car has strong opening after Robin Frijns bides time early on but then pulls off move of the race with scissors pass on Stoffel Vandoorne and Romon Rusinov
• Reigning champions pace sees them 0.05s ahead of second placed G-Drive Racing Aurus 01-Gibson driven by Nyck de Vries
• Albuquerque and de Vries engage in thrilling battle all the way to the chequered flag
• Lining up third is the Racing Team Nederland entry driven by Giedo van der Garde
• No.26 G-Drive car driven by Nyck de Vries but started by Roman Rusinov sits third but serve a 5-second penalty at next pit stop
• Juan-Pablo Montoya penalised for causing an incident in first hour after moving across on Rusinov and causing LMGTE Am car driven by Ben Keating to spin at Pouhon
• LMGTE Am class sees No.33 TF Sport Aston Martin with Ben Keating lead first 30-minutes before charging Matt Campbell hunts down American and sweep in to lead
• Campbell comes from the rear after qualifying incident triggered by Christian Ried sees overnight rebuild of No.77 Porsche
• But at two hour mark the No.83 AF Corse Ferrari driven by Alessio Rovera leads before taking second pit stop
• No.33 TF Sport Aston Martin still driven by Keating sits comfortable second ahead of Christian Ried who takes over from early leader Campbell
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