The 2015 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship, will feature an intense battle between no fewer than 9 LMP1 entries.
Since winning the 6 Hours of Silverstone earlier this month, Audi Sport Team Joest have been testing at both Paul Ricard and Monza ahead of the Belgian round, to practice the lower-downforce set-up to use at Spa.
Along with the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Silverstone winners Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer and the #8 car of Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis, Audi will field a third car this weekend.
The #9 will be driven by: Filipe Alberquerque, currently contesting the European Le Mans Series in JOTA Sport‘s LMP2 entry; Marco Bonanomi, who this year races in the Blancpain Sprint Series with ISR Racing; and finally René Rast, who also competed in the Blancpain Sprint Series last year.
One of the biggest stories in the WEC over the winter has been the third Porsche 919 Hybrid which will enter the Spa 6 Hours round in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Along with the #17 Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley, and the #18 of Roman Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb, the new #19 Porsche will be piloted by: Nico Hülkenberg, best known for his Formula 1 career; Earl Bamber, a young New Zealand driver who has a lot of experience in various Porsche GT series; and finally Nick Tandy, who raced with KCMG in the LMP2 class at Silverstone, and in GTE-Pro at Le Mans last year.
Toyota will not enter a third car, but from this round onwards, their team name will officially change to Toyota GAZOO Racing.
The final entry in the top class at Spa will be #4 Team Bykolles CLM-AER, with drivers Simon Trummer and Vitantonio Liuzzi. The Austrian team will aim to get as many championship points under their belt before rivals Rebellion Racing start their delayed 2015 campaign at Le Mans.
With more cars comes more pressure for Audi and especially Porsche, and so this race will likely be even more exciting than the Silverstone round. It starts on Saturday May 2 at 14:30 local (13:30 UK).