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Featured 6 Hours of Spa: Audi Emerges Victorious From Spa Chaos

Discussion in 'World Endurance Championship' started by Jack Hunsley, May 7, 2016.

  1. Jack Hunsley

    Jack Hunsley
    Staff Premium


    Audi weathered the storm of a incredibly chaotic 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps to take their first victory of the 2016 WEC campaign after victory was cruelly snatched from Toyota's hands.

    Whilst it was the #8 Audi of Di Grassi, Duval, and Jarvis who crossed the line first, every top LMP1 team lead the race at one point or another, with the #5 Toyota in particular dominating much of the race only for an engine failure to force them out of the race.

    Off the start it was the two Porsches who held off the competition and settled into an early lead. However all was not rosy for too long after the #2 car with , Marc Lieb at the wheel, encountered a technical glitch early in the first stint of the race and was forced to run at a reduced pace. This allowed Hartley to build a lead ahead of the battling Toyota and Audi of Buemi and Di Grassi.

    But even the #1's luck wouldn't last for much longer. Not only did Buemi manage to jump the Porsche and take the lead in the first round of pit stops, but after a brief but intense battle between Bernhard and Buemi left the #1 Porsche with a front-left puncture.

    By the halfway point Toyota, with Davidson at the wheel, had built a lead of over one-minute over the #8 Audi who was enjoying a quiet but resourceful race. Meanwhile things were going from bad to worse for Porsche after the #2 Porsche suffered a Hybrid issues and the #1 machine required a front gearbox change, whilst the #7 Audi also decided to get in on the action with a slow pit stop dropping them well down the order.

    However the main talking point happened during the fifth hour of running after the #5 Toyota, who had lead incredibly comfortably for the first five hours of the race, hit engines issues and was forced to seemingly retire, granting the lead of the race to the #8 Audi.

    From there it was plain sailing for Audi, with Oliver Jarvis bringing the #8 home to take Audi's first victory of 2016, barring any Silverstone-esque post race discussion. Behind Jarvis was the #2 Porsche which extended its championship lead, whilst both Rebellion's benefited from the chaos be-felling the manufacturers to take 3rd and 4th overall. Whilst a final last lap hurrah for Toyota, now running solely on electrical power, earned the #5 car valuable championship points, whilst the #7 Porsche also just managed to meet the 70% distance requirement to classify.

    In the other categories #36 Signatech Alpine entry took a narrow victory in LMP2. Having jumped ahead of the #26 G-Drive entry to lead the early portion of the race, Signatech battled with the #44 Manor over the lead of the category early on but was able to establish a slim lead come the halfway point.

    From there the #36 was able to withstand the pressure from Luis Felipe Derani and Filipe Albuquerque to lead the race going into the final hour only for a late pit stop put ESM back into the class lead. What followed was an incredibly intense battle for the lead between the #31 and #36, with the #36 making the most of GT traffic to snatch back the lead of the category.

    Finally, in the GT classes AF Corse converted their pole position yesterday into a victory in GTE-Pro ahead of the #67 Ford GT. Whilst the #51 sister entry of James Calado and Gianmaria Bruni joining Toyota as the most disappointed team of the race after retiring from the lead with just 10 minutes left on the clock. The drama however had started much earlier in the race after the #95 Aston Martin and #66 Ford Chip Ganassi entries retired after massive accidents. Nicky Thiim rolled his Aston Martin at turn 16 after colliding with an LMP2 car, whilst Stefan Muecke walked away from a huge accident after losing control of his Ford GT at Eau Rouge.

    Whilst in GTE-Am Aston Martin also succeeded in converting their pole position in a race victory. the #98 of Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana, and Mathias Lauda led for the majority of the race, leading home the AF Corse and Larbre Competition entries.

    6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps Official Results - Race

    1. LMP1 - #8 Audi Sport Team Joest (Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis) - 160 Laps
    2. LMP1 - #2 Porsche Team (Dumas, Jani, Lieb) - +2 Laps
    3. LMP1 - #13 Rebellion Racing (Tuscher, Kraihamer, Imperatori) - +4 Laps
    4. LMP1 - #12 Rebellion Racing (Prost, Piquet Jr, Heidfeld) - +5 Laps
    5. LMP1 - #7 Audi Sport Team Joest (Fässler, Lotterer, Tréluyer) - +5 Laps
    6. LMP1 - #4 ByKolles Racing Team (Trummer, Webb, Rossiter) - +9 Laps
    7. LMP2 - #36 Signatech Alpine (Menezes, Lapierre, Richelmi) - +9 Laps
    8. LMP2 - #31 Extreme Speed Motorsport (Dalziel, Derani, Cumming) - +9 Laps
    9. LMP2 - #45 Manor (Rao, Bradley, Merhi) - +9 Laps
    10. LMP2 - #43 RGR Sport by Morand (Gonzalez, Albuquerque, Senna) - +9 Laps
    11. LMP2 - #26 G-Drive Racing (Rusinov, Berthon, Rast) - +10 Laps
    12. LMP2 - #38 G-Drive Racing (Dolan, Van Der Garde, Dennis) - +12 Laps
    13. LMP2 - #30 Extreme Speed Motorsport (Sharp, Brown, Van Overbeek) - +14 Laps
    14. GTE Pro - #71 AF Corse (Rigon, Bird) - +15 Laps
    15. LMP2 - #44 Manor (Graves, Stevens, Jakes) - +16 Laps
    16. GTE Pro - #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK (Franchitti, Priaulx, Tincknell) - +16 Laps
    17. GTE Pro - #97 Aston Martin Racing (Stanaway, Rees) - +16 Laps
    18. GTE Pro - #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing (Lietz, Christensen) - +18 Laps
    19. GTE Am - #98 Aston Martin Racing (Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda) - +20 Laps
    20. GTE Am - #83 AF Corse (Perrodo, Collard, Aguas) - +21 Laps
    21. GTE Am - #50 Larbre Competition (Yamagishi, Ragues, Ruberti) - +21 Laps
    22. GTE Am - #78 KCMG (Ried, Henzler, Camathias) - +21 Laps
    23. GTE Am - #86 Gulf Racing (Wainwright, Carroll, Barker) - +22 Laps
    24. LMP2 - #37 SMP Racing (Petrov, Ladygin, Shaytar) - +24 Laps
    25. GTE Am - #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing (Al Qubaisi, Hansson, Bachler) - +24 Laps
    26. LMP1 - #5 Toyota Gazoo Racing (Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima) - +46 Laps
    27. LMP1 - #1 Porsche Team (Bernhard, Webber, Hartley) - +48 Laps
    28. LMP2 - #35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine (Cheng, Tung, Panciatici) - DNF
    29. GTE Pro - #51 AF Corse (Bruni, Calado) - +
    30. LMP2 - #27 SMP Racing (Minassian, Mediani) - DNF
    31. GTE Pro - #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK (Johnson, Muecke, Pla) - DNF
    32. LMP1 - #6 Toyota Gazoo Racing (Sarrazin, Conway, Kobayashi) - DNF
    33. LMP2 - #42 Strakka Racing (Leventis, Watts, Kane) - DNF
    34. GTE Pro - #95 Aston Martin Racing (Thiim, Sørensen, Turner) - DNF
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
    • Like Like x 5
  2. the_sigman

    Sim racer, F1 news editor... Racing is in my blood Premium

    I am a happy man with the Audi win! :D

    Glad Mucke is OK, that was a horrible crash.

    I told that elsewhere too, but I've got a feeling that if the factory LMP1's keep breaking down like that, Rebellion are going to win at Le Mans
    • Wow Wow x 1
  3. kedy89


    Was a great pass by Lapierre to retake the lead close to the end :D
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. "26. LMP1 - #5 Toyota Gazoo Racing (Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima) - DNF"
    That's not exactly correct because Toyota nr 5 run out of the garage for the last lap (on hybrid power only) and formally they finished the race - that cunning plan gave them 12 points to the manufacturer classification (which made me very happy, by the way ;) )
  5. Nox

    Staff Premium

    Brilliant race, and absolutely bonkers.

    Some corrections to the article: Toyota #5 finished 4th in P1 and Porsche #1 5th in P1, they both finished the race (36th and 27th overall).

    The Toyota didn't retire; the #5 went back out of the garage right at the end to do a whole lap on Hybrid power only, in order to secure some points (being the first WEC entrant to complete a full racing lap using only electric power which probably deserved a mention).

    The Porsche #1 also didn't retire and made a great effort to just manage to complete 70% of the race distance by the final lap in order to get points. Both cars were classified.

    Official classification here.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Jack Hunsley

    Jack Hunsley
    Staff Premium

    My apologies fellas, all is well now ;)
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
  7. Nox

    Staff Premium

    No problem. I appreciate the effort it takes to write articles, so thank you.
  8. Roy Magnes

    Roy Magnes
    Gentleman Driver Staff

    But the Toyota has been docked 4 laps on stewards decision no 55 on the bottom of that article, thus leaving them outside the 70% race distance needed for classification (112 laps were needed, exactly what the Porsche managed).
    Why this penalty has been applied I do not know, as the stewards decision button on the WEC weebsite is still greyed out.

    Edit: The decision have been appealed, that might be why the button is greyed out.
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  9. Thank for the read. was a hell of a race. More drama then a soap opera
  10. Sunny Sky Speed

    Sunny Sky Speed
    You will never see me again, it's final now. Bye Premium

    That move of the Audi to take over the Toyota at Blanchimont(at 1:03 in next highlight vid ) is just phenomenal. Never have I seen such bolt move (2 wheels in the grass?!) at that speed at Blanchimont. Alien move that was. Loved it.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Alex Townsend

    Alex Townsend

    I really appreciate the lengths someone goes to in order to write such a detailed and concise report of a racing weekend but, couldn't that same writing talent come up with something a little less blatant for the result?

    I'm not blessed with the situation to be able to watch this race live, I was going to watch on YouTube, later, when I have the odd hour here and there which is rare...

    Thanks to the title of the news item, and it's prominent showing on the front page of this website, which touts itself as a motorsport haven, have rendered my enjoyment of said YouTube viewing irrelevant.

    I used to race, and sometimes those races coincided with real life world wide racing events, and all we asked was that the fans that turned up, or the other racers waiting for their turn, would not utter a single thing about the outcome. These were motorsport fans, and realised that we all want to know the result in our own time, just not shoved in our face without any kind of option to deny or accept.

    Is there any way that this site can achieve the same understanding?
  12. FlyGasm


    So Alex are you saying you want a spoiler alert? ;) If it's that big of a deal to you then don't look at any news reports until you watch your desired race. Don't blame the writer for writing the news. Once any sporting event is over there's a scramble to see who can get the story out first, that's how things work. So if you read the news the day after, there's going to be a chance you'll see the results. Be nice and don't push the blame on someone else for your own mistakes.

    Also not sure why you were "not blessed" to see the race, it was streaming live on this site.

    Last edited: May 8, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. Otune

    SpeedyMite Racing Premium

    To be fair, there's no need to put the result in the headline, particularly on a website that isn't specifically a place for Motorsport news. I opened RD to look at the thread for a club race I ran today and this article is not only on the home page but it also displays down the side of the forum index. Personally I like the type of headline that @Jack Hunsley used for the Blancpain race a few weeks ago: http://www.racedepartment.com/threads/blancpain-gt-monza-debrief.121139/ That title gets the point across for those who do want to look at the results, but if you don't want to know then you just don't have to click.
  14. Sunny Sky Speed

    Sunny Sky Speed
    You will never see me again, it's final now. Bye Premium

    Please go nitpicking somewhere else. Love the article efforts and respect for the time put into them.
    If you carry on bashing the authors about what title they should choose for an article they just put hours of their time into....well than maybe one day we won't have any to read in here.
    I wonder, did you also wrote the local press not to include any results of any event because one might not have seen it yet? !
    Do you even think about what BS you ask for?!
    Cut the crap, back on topic:
    @Jack Hunsley thx for your effort and time, I enjoyed the article and I appreciate the recap of the final results as I didn't have any time to watch the event but still curious about the outcome. Keep posting those title results, your work your time your efforts your title.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Otune

    SpeedyMite Racing Premium

    Please don't think I'm "bashing" the author. I've got no problem with the authors or the articles - they're great! I also read them for events I can't watch and aren't bothered about watching the whole thing back. The only thing I spoke about was the wording of the headline - something that has been generalised on other occasions. You're right that Jack can put whatever headline he wants - it's not like I'm going to quit coming here over something so petty as spoilers. Heck, I was already spoiled by the WEC app homepage anyway when I was trying to get to the race replay, before I even saw this article :roflmao:

    I think it just goes to show the quality of this race that despite knowing the overall outcome, it was still incredibly entertaining all the way through :D
    • Love Love x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. FlyGasm


    Why not? The race is over, the results are in! And fairness doesn't come in to play. Fair to who? The ones that missed the race? That doesn't make any sense. How many days after the race would it be ok to you, for the writer to enter the results in the title?

    For an example, today I can't watch NASCAR because it's on FS1 and I don't get that channel. So I can wait until it's on Youtube in about 2 weeks or I can look up to see who won, my choice. Or I might hear the results on the radio or TV, but that won't stop me from watching the race when I get the chance, because it's not only who won the race, it's also how the race was won. If I was only interested in knowing who won, then I would never need to watch a race. :)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Otune

    SpeedyMite Racing Premium

    You're definitely right about watching the race not just just to find out who won, although in my case for this race I had already seen half of it live with the #5 running away with the race and the #8 seemingly having nothing for them. Seeing on the app that Audi had won, there's no way it could have been anything other than a failure on the #5 car :roflmao:. But yeah, there was PLENTY else going on in the race - and pretty much any race that I don't watch live I'll go into knowing the result. Sometimes I'll skip watching a race because I'm not too interested, but on hearing the result it makes me want to see how it happened!

    I don't think there needs to be a specific number of days before the results can be in the title - just that not having the results in the title wouldn't detract from the race report itself. It's not like it would make any difference if you wanted to read the article anyway.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Alex Townsend

    Alex Townsend

    So you're saying I cannot visit this site again until I've managed to download and watch the race? That's absurd. I checked my messages but the first page that loads on my mobile phone is the main page and the title of the race winners is the first thing I saw.

    Also I cannot just drop having a busy life with a wife and a 1 year old daughter because the race is streaming live?
  19. Yes, keep the winners name out of the news header in future, should be simple enough ?

    Is no different to Real Race forums they do the same because they do not want to wreck someones else's experience.

    Like it is not rocket science.

    6 Hours of Spa: Chaos at Spa

    If I want to watch a replay on uboob I do not click on the link
    but I could still browse news, makes more sense to me.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Alex Townsend

    Alex Townsend

    I just want to make sure that in no way are my comments about the title taking anything away from the time and effort to write such good race debriefs. I totally appreciate the writer's time and dedication in writing the reports for this site.
    Just simply asking if possible we could just take the spoilers out is all. :)
    • Love Love x 1