WEC Spa 6 Hours – Race Review

The second race of the season and the penultimate race before Le Mans 24 Hours in June, one that both Porsche and Toyota are seeking to gain points in the championship but also to prepare for the ultimate battle for supremacy at Le Mans.

Following the unfortunate crash of car #7 at Silverstone last month, after being successfully repaired and back on the track. In addition to cars #7 and #8 is the introduction of the third car #9, which will be getting a shakedown prior to Le Mans.

As it stands, Porsche #1, first and Toyota #2, second at the front of the grid for the start of the race with Toyota’s #9 in third and #8 in fourth with Porsche #2 sitting alongside in fifth position.

Saturday 6th May 2017, the weather could not be better, 18 degrees and the track is bone dry….perfect conditions for racing, let’s hope it continues like this.

First Hour of the WEC Spa Six Hour Race

14.30 / 6.00:  Race commences with start lap to warm engines and tyres before commencing rolling start on next lap

14.31 / 5.59:  Almost immediately after the rolling start, #4 got nudged off in the scramble for lead position

14.35 / 5.55:  Five minutes into the race and the LMP1 class stands at 1st (#1) 2nd (#8) 3rd (#7) 4th (#2) 5th (#9) with #4 in 8th position after the earlier altercation.

14.40 / 5.50: Porsche #4 has now dropped into 7th place

14.45 / 5.45: LMP2 are bunched into a neat set now that Porsche #4 has joined the rest of the LMP1 pack. Following in order at this stage are the GT PRO cars with the GT AM cars also neatly bunched.

14.50 / 5.40: Fastest Lap time of the race so far has been set down by Toyota #9 with a time of 1.58.02 on Lap 2. LMP2 #34 is now clawing up the race order and has joined the GT PRO ranks but is gaining one position each lap

14.55 / 5.35: The LMP1 order for first six positions now stands at: 1st (#7) 2nd (#8) 3rd (#1) 4th (#2) 5th (#9) 6th (#4) so it’s Toyota in the first two and Porsche in the third and fourth positions

15.00 / 5.30: All classes are nestled in their respective categories with racing very close at this stage and no-one imminently looking to break up the order. The Bykolles car #4 (the only non-hybrid LMP1) has a gap of 1.56 seconds behind race leader Toyota #7

15.10 / 5.20: Starting to see all of the LMP2 cars coming in for routine pit stops. Close competition with the two Ford GT’s #66 and #67 swapping places with Tincknell taking the lead into 20th place

15.15 / 5.15: Now starting to see the LMP1 cars pitting with the 4th and fifth place cars coming in first, closely followed by the rest of the lead cars with some driver changes taking place

15.20 / 5.10: LMP2 cars #35 and ’38 had an altercation at La Source but with both cars staying on track with minor damage

15.25 / 5.05: Lead LMP1 Toyota car #7 has now completed 27 Laps with LMP2 car #37 on 25 Laps

15.30 / 5.00: Lead places are #7, #8, #2, #1, #9, #4 – so still the two Toyota’s closely followed by the two Porsche’s

Last Hour of the WEC Spa Six Hour Race

19.30 / 1.00: It’s been a consistent race during the last four hours with very little drama and just a few mishaps but nothing major. The groupings are as they were previously with the exception of a battle for number 1 position which Porsche have finally obtained.

19.32 / 0.58: Porsche obtained the lead in the last hour and they have just been relieved of it by Toyota after Hartley was involved in a scuffle with an LMP2. Both Toyota’s have regained 1st and 2nd position with Porsche in 3rd and 4th. The third Toyota is in 5th position and the Bykolles in 6th place.

19.40 / 0.50: With 147 Laps in this race so far and the fastest Lap time was in Lap 122 from Brendon Hartley with a time of 1.57.63 in Porsche #2

19.45 / 0.45: The race leaders in LMP1 class as it stands are: Toyota #8, Toyota #7, Porsche #2, Porsche #1, Toyota #9, Bykolles #4

19.50 / 0.40: The race leader for LMP2 class is: car #26 in 7th place with a gap of 15.49 seconds behind the race leading LMP1. Race leader for GT PRO is Ferrari #71 with 133 Laps and for GT AM Aston Martin #98 with 129 Laps

20.00 / 0.30: Quite possibly because of it being a dry track all day, the running order has stayed pretty much the same throughout the whole five and half hours but this should change within the next half hour.

20.10 / 0.20: Now at 163 Laps, only 20 minutes to go and with daylight hours dwindling, the race is now starting to change order. Porsche #2 has taken the second place ahead of Toyota #8

20.15 / 0.15: Race order at this stage is: #2, #8, #7, #1, #9, #4. Porsche #2 has taken the lead position with Toyota’s #8 and #7 in 2nd and 3rd

20.20 / 0.10: Toyota have just regained the lead with both #8 and #7 cars following Hartley’s Porsche #2 going into the pits

20.25 / 0.05: Currently Toyota #8 has a 31 second lead over the leading Porsche #2 with the #7 Toyota 2.2 seconds behind

20.30 / 0.00:  Toyota wins the WEC Spa 6 Hours with car #8 driven by Buemi with Toyota #7 falling into 2nd place. Porsche #2 driven by Hartley in 3rd place and the second Porsche driven by Lotterer in 4th place. 5th place went to Toyota #9 driven by Lapierre and Bykolles #4 in 6th place.

 

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