Toyota Gazoo Racing won the WEC 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The #7 Toyota GR010 driven by Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway crossed the finish line ahead of the #36 Alpine A480 of Matthieu Vaxiviere, Nicolas Lapierre and Andre Negrao after a chaotic race that was red flagged three times.
After taking the team’s maiden pole-position in their FIA World Endurance Championship history, the #708 Glickenhaus 007 led the field at the start of the race. During the opening hour the #8 Toyota GR010 with Sebastian Buemi behind the wheel was able to pass Olivier Pla in the Glickenhaus Hypercar, with Mike Conway in the #7 car also passing the Frenchman at the end of the same lap.
With rain starting to fall the race was red-flagged for the first time as Miro Konopka crashed his ARC Bratislava Oreca LMP2 car into the barriers at Campus, nearly taking out the later on race winning #7 Toyota.
As the race was restarted behind the safety car Buemi had trouble starting his Toyota. After he finally got going, his car stopped again on the Kemmel Straight and then later on came to a halt again. Toyota had to retire the car with hybrid issues.
The #708 Glickenhaus of Romain Dumas, Pipo Derani and Olivier Pla finished third in the Hypercar class, but only in ninth place overall. Due to a miscommunication within the team Dumas switched to slicks too early on a drying track. He had to come in again to switch back on to semi-slick tires, ultimately loosing a lap to the overall leaders.
WRT LMP2 On overall podium
In LMP2 the Belgian Team WRT took its first victory of the season with a one-two on their home-track. Sean Gelal, Robin Frinjs and Rene Rast in the #31 Oreca took the checkered flag in front of the REALTEAM by WRT sister-car of Rui Andrade, Ferdinand Habsburg and Norman Nato.
After switching to wet-weather tires before the majority of the field, Robin Frijns restarted the race as the overall leader after the first red flag. In heavy rain conditions Frijns was able to keep the overall lead. With the Hypercars having trouble to play out their power advantages on a wet track the dutch driver led for a good chunk of time, keeping the following #7 Toyota at a distance.
As the track started to dry up, the Hypercars found some pace and Frijns lost the lead to Kamui Kobayashi. Later on he was also overtaken by Matthieu Vaxiviere in the #36 Alpine.
Rene Rast brought the car home to a third place on the overall podium despite of making contact with the #35 Ultimate LMP2, damaging the nose and the splitter of his car.
Antonio Felix da Costa, Will Stevens and Roberto Gonzales in the #38 JOTA Oreca finished on the final LMP2 podium spot with the #05 Team Penske car finishing fourth.
Ferrari holds on to victory in LM GTE Pro
In a nail biting finish, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo managed to take home the victory by just 0.523 second over the #92 Porsche 911 RSR of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen.
At the start of the race Kevin Estre made contact with Gianmaria Bruni in the #91 sister-car, resulting in a puncture for Bruni, taking him out of contention in the first corner.
During the first red flag period both the #51 and the #52 Ferraris moved to rain tires, allowing them jump ahead of the leading Porsche. While the Ferraris were able to pull away from the competitors in the rain, Michael Christensen closed in on the leading pair as the track started to dry out. The Dane first passed Antonio Fuoco in the #52 Ferrari, before hunting down James Calado.
During the final laps of the race Calado defended strongly against Christensen, ultimately securing the win for the 2021 World Champions.
Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco in the #52 AF Corse car finished in third closely behind the Porsche. The #64 Corvette C8.R of Nick Tandy and Tommy Millner finished fourth.
Dempsey Proton takes the LM GTE AM Honours
After a close battle in the closing stages of the race, Christina Ried, Sebastian Priaulx and Harry Tincknell took the win in the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche in the LM GTE AM category. Just 1.5 second behind Marco Sorensen in the #33 TF Sport Aston crossed the finish line in second. He was sharing the car with Ben Keating and Henrique Chaves. Nicki Thiim, David Pittard and Paul Dalla Lana in the #98 Northwest AMR Aston Martin finished third in class.
The next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans taking place on the 11th – 12th June 2022.
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