Toyota signs a double at the 6 Hours of Spa, the Peugeots far from the mark
The weather was typical of the Ardennes in the spring this Saturday for the 6…
The weather was typical of the Ardennes in the spring this Saturday for the 6 Hours of Spa, with rain in the morning and drizzle during the start of the race. These climatic conditions made the Belgian track wet and complicated the choice of the teams for their tires at the start. The Toyotas, on pole with the n°7 (Conway – Kobayashi – Lopez) and 36th with the n°8 (Buemi – Hartley – Hirakawa) after the New Zealander’s accident in qualifying, have chosen to start on slicks . They took it well, because after a tricky start for Conway, who lost six places on the first lap, the Briton quickly climbed back to the top once his tires warmed up.
Conversely, the Ferraris started on wet tyres, the most effective at the start of the race, but the track drying up, they had to return to the pits after less than thirty minutes, and suffered from heating their tires on the way out, which allowed the leading Toyota to escape. The second gradually moved up the peloton, until joining her sister after just over two hours of racing. The continuation and the end of this third round of the WEC turned into a demonstration of the Japanese prototypes (victory of the n°7 with 11” ahead of the n°8), which despite increased competition in Hypercar this season with the arrival of Ferrari, Porsche and Cadillac, therefore sign a third victory in three races, and will arrive as big favorites at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 10-11).
As often in the WEC, the fight therefore mainly concerned the third step of the podium. After the abandonment of the Ferrari n°50 (Fuoco – Molina – Nielsen), its sister, the n°51 (Pier Guidi – Calado – Giovinazzi), the Porsche n°5 (Cameron – Christensen – Makowiecki) and the Cadillac n °2 (Bamber – Lynn – Westbrook) could all hope to win this third place. But it was ultimately the Italian Hypercar that got it, overtaking the Porsche on the last lap.
The Peugeots not in the game
As for the Peugeot 9X8s, they were never in the game to grab a podium, or even a top 5, despite rainy conditions which could have erased the performance gap, and several retirements. The n°93 (Di Resta – Jensen – Vergne) finished 8th in the category at two laps (14th overall), and the n°94 (Duval – Menezes – Müller), which lost some time after having to restart its electronic systems because a sensor believed that the tank had not been filled, 9th in two laps (17th overall). They were even beaten by the new Porsche, the #38 Hertz Team Jota of Da Costa, Stevens and Ye.
Several Hypercars did not see the finish of the race: Cadillac n°3 (Bourdais – Van der Zande – Aitken), victim of a major accident at the top of Raidillon, Porsche n°6 (Estre – Lotterer – Vanthoor) which suddenly stopped on the pit straight, Vanwall n°4 (Dillman – Guerrieri – Villeneuve), which collided with a Ferrari n°54 in the GTE Am category, and Ferrari n° 50, which came off the track just after pitting, victim of the curse of cold tyres.
Frenchwoman Lilou Wadoux made history by becoming the first woman to win a WEC round. With her teammates Alessio Rovera and Luis Perez Companc, she won in GTE Am with the n°83 Ferrari 488 of Richard Mille AF Corse. In LMP2, Team WRT, at home, dominated the debates, with the n°41 (Andrade – Kubica – Delétraz). The Alpine n°36 and n°35 finished 7th and 8th.
The cl***ification of the race.