Endurance Racing

2012 Spa 24 Hours: Update After 6 Hours

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A last minute move gave Marc VDS the points after six hours (Photo Credit: Jake Yorath/l'endurance)

With Blancpain Endurance Series points on offer after six hour it was Maxime Martin who swept across the line first after six hours of racing to cap off a fine first quarter of the Total 24 Hours of Spa for Marc VDS Racing.

Their journey to collect the 12 points on offer – further increasing their lead in the Blancpain Series points – was not simple for Martin and Marc VDS in the six hour, losing the lead and falling to third.

Leader throughout the race up to the end of the fifth hour Marc VDS were caught out by the introduction of the safety car for the sudden reappearance of the rain. Bas Leinders pitted the car, handing back over to Maxime Martin only for Martin to be held at the end of the pitlane.

The delay dropped Martin back to third under the safety car, powerless to do anything to make up the time under the safety car. However, as the end of the six hours – and the chance to score points approached Martin swept past into the lead to cross the line ahead.

Christopher Haase and Andrea Piccini lie second and third with the second of the Team WRT Audis in fourth, the final car on the lead lap.  

Martin's move to the lead, between Blanchimont and the Bus Stop, came after The top Audis Andrea Piccini and Christopher Haase had swapped places in an effort to five Haase, in the Team WRT #1 Audi R8 the points on offer. The two Audis swapped places in the handful of racing laps left in the hour following the end of the third safety car period of the race, and the second for torrential rain.

The second safety car intervention – the one not for rain – was for Philippe Salini's heavy crash on the exit of Blanchimont, destroying the RMS Porsche after spearing into the barrier on the inside of the corner. The Frenchman was taken to hospital of x-rays. The Cup class Porsche, needless joined an ever growing list of retirements.

That list, unfortunately also includes two of the cars representing British GT Championship regulars with electrical problems forcing RJN Motorsport into retirement , while a persistent misfire ended the hopes Preci-Spark had of repeating their top ten heroics of last year, meaning the star turn Bernd Schneider's superb drive in the opening stint was for nothing.

Jos Menten in fifth overall made sure of maximum points in the Pro-Am Cup category for Blancpain-Reiter, the next best car in the most numerous class in the race ending the first quarter of the race in eighth place with the Boutsen Ginion Racing #5 maintaining their challenge for class lead on the early part of the race.        

Lying in 32nd overall First Motorsport lead the Gentlemen Trophy class.

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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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