The #8 Toyota of Antohny Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Lapierre and #26 G-Drive Morgan maintained their 100% winning record in this seasons FIA World Endurance Championship, with the duo once again taking dominant victories.
In LMP1, the #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid lead the way from pole, with both the #8 and #7 Toyota’s holding station ready for a mistake to happen from the WEC débutantes. And soon that’s what they got, when the #20 919 of Timo Bernhard came in to fix a broken rear damper, before a slow pit stop and electrical issues for the #14 cost the car valuable time.
Audi, who were running three cars at Spa, were rather anonymous for most the race, with all three R18 e-tron Quattro’s suffering from a lack of top speed. However, after a super quick stop from the pit crew of the #1 Audi of defending champions Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval and Tom Kristensen, the car moved into P2.
In LMP1-L, Rebellion Racing were the only entrants with their brand new Rebellion R-Ones, but with the team treating this as an endurance test, new car teething issues soon appeared. Despite this, the #12 of Nicolas Prost, Mathias Beche and Nick Heidfeld came home a very credible seventh place.
“This season is the first time I have ever led a World Championship. To win again here for one of the team’s home races, with a lot of support from the guys from Cologne, was fantastic,” said Anthony Davidson. “Sebastien did a lot of the hard work in the difficult middle part of the race so when I got in it was pretty much job done. It’s great we got two cars on to the podium again. Now our attention has to turn to the big one in June. I am so confident in the package we have and the team around us; it really feels like we are flourishing at the right time.”
In LMP2 G-Drive once again led the way, although the team did have a hairy moment at turn one when the car got sideways after contact. That didn’t stop them, however, as the team made up of Roman Rusinov, Julien Canal and Olivier Pla charged to the front, never looking back. The only major drama for the team was a broken headlight that needed fixing, although with a lead of over a minute that didn’t affect them.
In second was the #38 Jota Zytek of Simon Dolan, Harry Tincknell and Marc Gene, who were making their first WEC appearance in build up to Le Mans, with the first Oreca 03-Nissan of KCMG finishing third.
“This victory was won in a beautiful fashion, with the right kind of gap we wanted at the end of the race,” said Pla. “The car was perfect, the strategy too. Everyone did a great job. The car was just amazing, and the Dunlop tyres too; the tyres we used this weekend allowed us to keep the same tyres for two stints, all the while keeping up a very consistent pace.
Thanks to the whole Dunlop team and to my teammates as well, they did a great job! It’s great to get a 2nd victory just before Le Mans, and it allows us to arrive there feeling calm and collected; we need to carry on this way.”