Spa-Francorchamps is always a thrilling race, whether it lasts 6 hours or 24 hours. This year’s 6H de Spa, the third round of the WEC, was no exception. Toyota Gazoo Racing once again dominated the race, with their two Japanese prototypes performing flawlessly on the track and in the pits. However, the real excitement lay in the battles behind Toyota, as Ferrari, Hertz Team Jota, and Peugeot 9X8 all fought for podium positions.
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Toyota Secures Second Double Victory in Three Races
Toyota’s victory in the general classification was never in doubt, as they once again dominated without breaking a sweat. With a smart tire choice on a slippery track, the #7 and #8 Toyotas led the race, with the only question being which would take the win. The #7 Toyota, driven by Conway, Kobayashi, and Lopez, claimed its second victory of the season after winning the 1000 Miles of Sebring. The #8, driven by Buemi, Hartley, and Hirakawa, quickly climbed the ranks from the back of the grid. The two Toyotas were separated by 16.6 seconds after 148 laps, giving the Japanese manufacturer its second double victory in three races.
Ferrari Fights for Podium in Hypercar Class
Ferrari put up a strong fight in the early stages of the race with a different tire choice than the Japanese camp. The two 499P Ferraris stayed in the top 5 until Antonio Fuoco’s #50 went off the track on cold tires. All of Ferrari’s hopes were then placed on the #51, driven by Calado, who managed to overtake the Porsche #5 on the last lap, securing the final podium spot by just 2.6 seconds.
For Hertz Team Jota’s Hypercar debut, they finished in a respectable 6th place, while the Peugeot 9X8s finished outside the top 10. The Glickenhaus 007 LMH, driven by Dumas, Pla, and Mailleux, finished in 14th place.
Team WRT Takes Home Victory in LMP2
The LMP2 category provided its fair share of surprises, with United Autosports, Team WRT, Jota, and Prema battling hard throughout the six-hour race. The lead changed hands several times, and it wasn’t until the final moments of the race that a clear hierarchy emerged. Team WRT’s #41 Oreca-Gibson 07, driven by Deletraz, Kubica, and Andrade, took victory by 6.042 seconds over the #23 Oreca driven by Pierson, Blomqvist, and Jarvis. The final podium spot went to Inter Europol Competition, driven by Costa, Scherer, and Smiechowski, marking the first time two Polish drivers stood on a WEC podium.
History Made in GTE-Am with Lilou Wadoux’s Victory
The GTE-Am category saw a historic victory, with Lilou Wadoux becoming the first female driver to win a WEC category. Wadoux, along with Alessio Rovera and Luis Perez Companc, drove the #83 Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo to victory, finishing 18.6 seconds ahead of the #33 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R driven by Varrone, Catsburg, and Keating. The TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR, driven by Dinan, Al-Harthy, and Eastwood, finished third after a close battle with Catsburg in the closing laps.
With Toyota’s double victory at Spa, the stage is set for the next round of the FIA WEC: the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, taking place from June 10-11. As teams and drivers prepare for the “big one,” the excitement and unpredictability of this year’s Spa-Francorchamps race will undoubtedly fuel their determination to succeed on the world’s most famous endurance racing stage.