- Sep 26, 2010
Audi has taken the victory at the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps in a closely fought race ahead of Porsche, setting both race lap records and a new overall distance record on their way to the checkered flag.
At the flag it was the #7 Audi of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler who made it two out of two wins this season so far, whilst the #18 Porsche of Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas and Neel Jani forced to settle for 2nd with the #17 car of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley completing the podium.
Off the start Porsche lead the field way with their three cars managing to hold onto to their positions, but Audi did manage to cause them some trouble by holding onto the back of the #18 Porsche in the very early stages of the race.
However it wasn't long before the action started as Nick Tandy, driver of Porsche's newest #19 entry ahead of Le Mans, made contact with Porsche GT driver Kevin Estre down into Stavelot whilst attempting to lap his sister car, which brought both cars back into the pits for repairs. Estre would later be awarded a drive through penalty for his misdemeanor. The drama didn't end there however as not long after Goethe lost control of his GTE Am Aston Martin at the top of Radillion and spun into the barriers, but remarkably was able to recover and bring his car back to the pitlane and to rejoin the race.
Meanwhile the day went from bad to worse for Porsche after a mechanical failure under braking for the Bus Stop on the #17 car forced driver Brendon Hartley to cut through a marshall's post to rejoin the track, landing his car a 15 second stop and go penalty, only for a suspension issue to crop up on the car as well which left just the #18 Porsche at the sharp end with the #8 and #7 Audi's for company.
As the race neared it's halfway point several cars continued to fall by the wayside as Siegfried spun his GT Porsche into the wall at turn 11, Kristian Poulsen lost control of his Corvette after making way for an LMP2 car to become to day's second retirement are the team ByKolles LMP1 entry, whilst Marco Bonanomi in the #9 Audi's window exploded down the Kemmel Straight eventually forcing the Italian to pit. Next to run into problems was the #1 Toyota which suffered an electrical issue which first jammed the throttle open before preventing Anthony Davidson from shifting up or down gears, dropping the #1 down well out of contention
Back at the battle for the lead Audi managed to close the gap to the generally faster Porsche's thanks to a Lotterer double stint halfway through the race which allowed the German to jump into the lead early into the fourth hour, kickstarting a long battle between the two cars thanks to Porsche's quicker short term pace combined with Audi's better long distance performance on double stints. But it was Porsche who were finally forced to relinquish their long held lead after Benoit Treluyer executed a superb overtake going round the outside of the #18 through Stavelot to take the lead, and whilst Neel Jani was able to put the #18 briefly back into the lead, after the final pit stops it was game over for the Stuttgart outfit.
Further down the field Nico Hülkenberg finished 6th on his WEC debut in the #19 car which recovered well from it's early race adventures. In LMP2 JOTA Sport took the honours after the G-Drive Racing entry on Roman Rusinov, Julian Canal and Sam Bird lost it's engine in the final hour of the race whilst in a fairly comfortable lead. Finally in GTE Pro Aston Martin took the honours ahead of the Porsche entry of Makowiecki and Lietz after late dramas for the #51 AF Corse entry, and also in GTE Am with Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda crossing the lead at the head of the class in their Aston Martin.
1. LMP1 - #7 Audi sport Team Joest (Lotterer, Fassler, Treluyer) - 176 Laps
2. LMP1 - #18 Porsche Team (Dumas, Jani, Lieb) - 176 Laps
3. LMP1 - #17 Porsche Team (Bernhard, Webber, Hartley) - 175 Laps
4. LMP1 - #9 Audi Sport Team Joest (Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Rast) - 174 Laps
5. LMP1 - #2 Toyota Racing (Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway) - 173 Laps
6. LMP1 - #19 Porsche Team (Hülkenberg, Bamber, Tandy) - 173 Laps
7. LMP1 - #8 Audi Sport Team Joest (Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis) - 168 Laps
8. LMP1 - #1 Toyota Racing (Davidson, Buemi) - 162 Laps
9. LMP2 - #38 JOTA Sport (Dolan, Tincknell, Evans) - 161 Laps
10. LMP2 - #28 G-Drive Racing (Yacamán, González) - 160 Laps
11. LMP2 - #43 Team SARD Morand (Webb, Ragues, Amberg) - 159 Laps
12. LMP2 - #47 KCMG (Howson, Bradley, Lapierre) - 159 Laps
13. LMP2 - #36 Signatech Alpine (Panciatici, Chatin, Capillaire) - 159 Laps
14. LMP2 - #42 Strakka Racing (Leventis, Kane, Watts) - 156 Laps
15. LMP2 - #35 OAK Racing (Nicolet, Merlin, Maris) - 152 Laps
16. GTE Pro - #99 Aston Martin Racing V8 (Rees, MacDowall, Stanaway) - 151 Laps
17. GTE Pro - #92 Porsche Team Manthey (Lietz, Makowiecki) - 151 Laps
18. GTE Pro - #91 Porsche Team Manthey (Estre, Muller) - 151 Laps
19. GTE Pro - #51 AF Corse (Bruni, Vilander) - 151 Laps
20. GTE Pro - #97 Aston Martin Racing (Turner, Mücke, Bell) - 150 Laps
21. GTE Pro - #95 Aston Martin Racing (Nygaard, Sørensen) - 150 Laps
22. GTE Pro - #71 AF Corse (Rigon, Calado) - 150 Laps
23. LMP2 - #31 Extreme Speed Motorsport (Brown, Overbeek, Fogarty) - 149 Laps
24. GTE Am - #98 Aston Martin Racing (Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda) - 148 Laps
25. GTE Am - #83 AF Corse (Perrodo, Collard, Águas) - 148 Laps
26. GTE Am - #72 SMP Racing (Shaitar, Basov, Montermini) - 147 Laps
27. GTE Am - #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing (Ried, Bachler, Al Qubaisi) - 146 Laps
28. GTE Am - #77 Dempsey Racing-Proton (Dempsey, Long, Seefried) - 145 Laps
29. GTE Am - #96 Aston Martin Racing (Goethe, Hall, Castellacci) - 138 Laps
30. LMP2 - #30 Extreme Speed Motorsport (Sharp, Dalziel, Hansson) - 134 Laps
31. LMP2 - #26 G-Drive Racing (Rusinov, Canal, Bird) - 124 Laps
DNF - GTE Am - #55 AF Corse (Cameron, Mortimer, Griffin) - 128 Laps
DNF - GTE Am - #50 Larbre Competition (Roda, Ruberti, Poulsen) - 61 Laps
DNF - LMP1 - #4 Team ByKolles (Trummer, Liuzzi, Klien) - 46 Laps