Spa 4 Hr Report: Toyota 1-2 in dramatic mid-portion of race
No. 31 WRT Surge to Front in LMP2; LMGTE led by Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari
Below are the main headlines after the first four hours of action of racing at the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Hypercar: Leader – No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing
- No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing continues to be in charge of TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
- Jose-Maria Lopez consolidates gap over sister No.8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar driven by Ryo Hirakawa.
- Gap stands at 15-seconds after four hours of racing as Hirakawa struggles with apparent braking issues.
- Disappointment for Porsche Penske as the No.6 963 driven by Laurens Vanthoor retires in third hour after local ace stops because on pit straight.
- This promotes the sister No.5 car to third with Dane Cameron having taken over from starter Michael Christensen.
- Earl Bamber completes epic triple stint in fifth position before handing over to teammate Alex Lynn and car races the No.50 Ferrari AF Corse 499P driven by Miguel Molina.
- Molina takes over the cockpit from Nicklas Nielsen and survives a difficult return to track by running wide on pit exit. But Spaniard recovers to tire and hunt down the Cadillac before getting penalty for pit exit infraction.
- No.51 Ferrari F Corse car of Alessandro Pier Guidi is on tail of Lynn's Cadillac as fifth hour ticks ver.
- No.93 Peugeot TotalEnergies runs seventh as Mikkel Jensen and then Paul di Resta takes turns at wheel.
- Hertz Team Jota continues impressive debut run in eighth position with Will Stevens having taken over from Yifei Ye.
- Glickenhaus Racing places ninth ahead of the delayed No.94 Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8 Hypercar.
- Loic Duval loses time after stopping at pit exit after shutting down. Duval is able to re-join the race and sits 10th in Hypercar.
- Floyd Vanwall was running in 11th position as Esteban Guerrieri survives two excursions before handing over to Jacques Villeneuve in fourth hour.
- But Villeneuve collides spectacularly with No.54 AF Corse Ferrari at Blanchimont and the cars both retire, bringing out the third safety car in the process. Both drivers emerge unhurt
LMP2: Pole - No.31 Team WRT
- Team WRT emerge at front in LMP2 as local team takes advantage of safety car period to make a break with Robin Frijns building lead.
- Frijns then hands over to Ferdinand Habsburg who on fresher rubber immediately chases down sister No.41 WRT car driven by Louis Deletraz.
- But Habsburg loses lead after being slowed by an LMGTE Am car before re-taking Deletraz again in tight battle.
- Pair of WRT cars then come under increasing pressure by a flying Oliver Rasmussen in No.28 Jota Oreca-Gibson.
- Rasmussen makes it through after epic battle which sees him and Louis Deletraz going through Eau Rouge side-by-side.
- Habsburg completes triple stint and enters final two hours in lead.
- No.23 United Autosports car that led early stages loses out in safety car period and runs sixth as Tom Blomqvist gets second stint at the wheel.
- JOTA lose several positions in fourth hour losing momentum as it goes off-set on strategy.
- Third safety car bunches up field as fifth hour approaches with Habsburg just holding off a mob of No.63 Prema entry and both United Autosports entries.
LMGTE Am: Leader – No.83 Richard Mille AF Corse
- Lilou Wadoux in No.83 Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari stars in mid-portion of race as she takes lead from No.88 Dempsey Proton Porsche.
- Wadoux then builds strong lead before third safety car in fourth hour.
- No.88 Dempsey Proton Porsche maintains second place and is in strong position as Zachary Robichon gets set to hand over to Harry Tincknell for final two stints of the race.
- Iron Dames Porsche is third and still in contention to fight for the win as Rahel Frey continues mammoth stint at the wheel of pink car.
- ORT by TF Sport place fourth with Ahmad l Harthy continuing strong form despite having to take a penalty for crossing pit exit line.
- Corvette Racing placed fifth with Nicolas Varrone holding off the No.21 AF Corse Ferrari in sixth.
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