The race ended in an Audi one, two, three and a Ferrari double in LM GTE as the Italian cars triumphed in both Pro and Am.
On Saturday 4th May, the second round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship, the Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours, took place on the magnificent Belgian circuit.
It was the final rehearsal before the major confrontation at the Le Mans 24 Hours (22-23 June). The race ended in an Audi one, two, three and a Ferrari double in LM GTE as the Italian cars triumphed in both Pro and Am.
More than 35 000 spectators took advantage of beautiful weather to watch the second of the 8 races on the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) calendar.
The reigning world champions Benoît Tréluyer, André Lotterer and Marcel Fässler scored their first victory of the season at the wheel of their Audi R18 e-tron quattro from their two sister cars.
Toyota proved to be a redoubtable rival for a good part of the race, in particular the 2013 version of the TS030 hybrid of Lapierre-Nakajima-Wurz, which had to retire after a malfunction in the hybrid system.
The second Toyota in 2012 setup saw the flag in fourth place. However, the Japanese team’s cars’ race pace proved that it will be a thorn in Audi’s side at Le Mans!
The Lola-Toyota of Prost-Jani-Heidfeld saw the flag in fifth place overall and first of the LM P1 privateers.
In the WEC, Audi has consolidated its place as leader in the manufacturers’ championship, while the three winners have taken over first place in the drivers’ title chase – but only one point in front of McNish-Kristensen-Duval, who came second in Belgium.
The LM P2 category was the theatre of another fantastic battle with the win going to the Perez Companc-Minassian-Kaffer Oreca 03-Nissan followed home in second place, as at Silverstone, by the OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan of Pla-Brundle-Heinemeier Hansson.
Completing the top 3 was the Jota Racing Dolan-Turvey-Luhr Zytek-Nissan. Pecom Racing’s win puts the Argentinean squad in first place in the LM P2 Championship.
In LM GTE Pro Ferrari got its own back on Aston Martin – but only just! The British make, which scored a brilliant win at Silverstone just missed out on victory in the Belgian Ardennes by finishing a mere 9 seconds behind the winners, the Fisichella-Bruni F458 Italia.
The Senna-Makowiecki-Bell Aston Martin V8 Vantage came home second one second in front of the other works Ferrari of Kobayashi-Vilander! It was a thrilling race and a foretaste of a fantastic battle in perspective in the Sarthe against other redoubtable teams like Porsche entered in the FIA WEC, which is fine-tuning the latest version of its 911 RSR to achieve peak performance for 22-23 June, and also the mighty Corvettes and Vipers. Aston Martin, however, still leads the championship.
It was the same story in GTE Am as the 8 Star Motorsports team’s Ferrari F458 Italia driven by Potolicchio-Aguas-Malucelli took the flag in first place from the winners of the first round on 14th April, the Nygaard-Poulsen-Simonsen Aston, which remains in the lead in the category.
The Larbre Competition Corvette of Bornhauser-Canal-Rees finished third at Spa and is also lying in the same position in the GTE Am Championship.
The teams entered in the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship will all be at Le Mans on 9th June for the test day before the highpoint of the season, the Le Mans 24 Hours on 22-23 June.
On the legendary Sarthe layout the 35 cars entered for the Spa-Francorchamps event will take on the other 21 cars invited to take part in the race.
Double points will be awarded for the Le Mans 24 Hours compared to the other seven rounds of the 2013 WEC.