Endurance Racing

2012 Spa 24 Hours: Update After 21 Hours

2 Mins read
The #1 Audi R8 LMS took the lead, but then had to give it to pit (Photo Credit: Dan Bathie/l'endurance)

The three hours up to the 21 hour mark at 1pm local time were three hours of Audis going in different directions, with a safety car period having an impact on the fight for the lead.

The reason for the safety car – the fifteenth of the race – was another Audi r8 LMS ultra. Just laps after making a brief visit into the garage Edward Sandstrom crashed the #2 Audi heavily at the top of Eau Rouge. Either vecause of a mechanical fault – explaining the otherwise mysterious sojourn in the pits – or driver error the Team WRT car hit the barrier waiting to drivers' right of the crest a top on of racing most famous hills.

Sandstron was unhurt, but a combination of debris spat back towards the track, the remains of the car half blocking pit exit and the damage of the tyre wall, brought out the safety car yet again.

The safety car gave the Team Phoenix team running the #16 time to replace the brake pads on the lead car, but the longer stop  and being caught at pit out allowed Christopher Mies – having taken over from his namesake Haase – in the no.1 car earlier in the hour. The differing pit schedules of the two lead cars saw Mies pit towards the end of the 21st hour, allowing Rene Rast back into the lead, the Porsche Supercup star – missing the Hungaroring round for this event – leading by nearly a whole lap with just three hours remaining.

With Sandstrom's exit in the #2 the #66 Vita4One Racing inherited third place with Marc VDS Racing fourth, despite a minor scare with small fire at the rear of the #3 BMW. AF Corse continue to hold the top two places in Pro-Am Cup, with the #52 ahead of #51. The Haribo Racing Team – Uwe Alzen driving the car at the end of the hour – have taken third place in Pro-Am, moving into seventh overall at the expense of the Von Ryan Racing McLaren.

First Motorsport continue to lead Gentlemen Trophy now in 18th overall, with the sole remaining Cup Class Porsche 28th for SpeedLover.

The three hours began with Beechdean joining the none too illustrious list of team to lose a wheel during the race, theirs thanks to a wheel hub failure with John Gaw in the cockpit. Recovered under the safety car, they soon joined the list of retirements and the story of woe for British GT regulars.

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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