FIAWEC: A look at Round 2 – Six Hours of Spa



2015-6-Heures-de-Spa-Francorchamps-WEC-Adrenal-Media-DEP-8018-2_hdThe second round of the FIAWEC was held at Spa and it was another thrilling race with Audi taking a hard fought victory…

The no7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler took their second victory from two starts in 2015 with a hard fought win at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps that had the large Belgian crowd on the edge of their seats.  In his last stint Treluyer had to fight Neel Jani in the no18 Porsche 919 all the way to the chequered flag, with the two cars going wheel to wheel, and a late stop for fuel left the French driver just 13 seconds ahead of the Porsche with 15-minutes on the clock.  The run to the flag was nail biting but the no7 Audi crossed the finish line with fireworks exploding above the track to the delight of the German team.

After taking 1-2-3 in qualifying the Porsche Team held the upper hand in the first half of the race but they didn’t have it all their own way as first the no19 919 of Nick Tandy had to go back to the garage early in the race after a collision with the no91 Porsche 911 of Kevin Estre.  The collision, which earned Estre a penalty, caused some serious body work damage to the 919 but the Porsche mechanics replaced the damaged parts and had the car back on track in less than four minutes.

The pole sitting no17 Porsche 919 of Brendon Hartley led from the start but was given a stop go penalty for using a run off area near to a group of marshals after he outbraked into the last corner.  The car then had to go into the garage after a problem with the rear suspension was diagnosed, losing the car a lap on the leaders.  Hartley and his teammates Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber fought back and were rewarded with third place on the podium 1 lap down, with Hartley setting a new lap record for the WEC at Spa with a 1m57.972 lap, 3.2 seconds quicker than the previous best time.

The no2 TS040 of Stephane Sarrazin, Alex Wurz and Mike Conway had an early battle with the no9 Audi R18 and eventually finished three laps behind the leaders in 5th.  The no1 Toyota of Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi, which had been rebuilt after the accident in free practice, hit problems with a sticking throttle and had to return to the pits several times.  The reigning world champions eventually finished 8th, 14 laps down.

The no8 Audi of Oliver Jarvis, Loic Duval and Lucas Di Grassi also had an electrical problem that saw the car in the garage for several laps, the problem eventually being solved by a new ECU.  In the last few laps Jarvis ended up in the tyre wall at Turn 14 after going straight on.  The British driver managed to get the car to the flag to be classified in 7th overall.

The sole LMP1 privateer entry, the no4 Team Bykolles CLM P1/01-AER, completed 46 laps before hitting technical issues which sidelined the Austrian team for the second race in a row.

“As in the season opener, the WEC again delivered super-thrilling racing. I congratulate our winners and the whole team on this first-class achievement. They turned an endurance race into a sprint and did an impeccable job. A big thank you goes to the other two driver teams as well. I’m sorry that number ‘8’ was lacking that little bit of fortune that’s needed in a race. Our trio in ‘9’ ultimately complemented the result for Audi by a good position.”

Dr Wolfgang Ulrich

Full Race Highlights by fiawec



In LMP2 a jump start by the no38 JOTA Sport Gibson-Nissan of Harry Tincknell ended in a drive through penalty for the Englishman but also set up a brilliant fight back drive that everyone on the edge of their seats.  The no26 G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan, which won the opening at Silverstone, was leading the class, while Tincknell and then Mitch Evans who took over the driver duties, moved up through the field to take the lead on the run into the final corner.  Evans handed the car over to Simon Dolan before Tincknell took the car to the chequered flag to record the teams 4th WEC podium finish at Spa and the second win for the European Le Mans Series front runners and reigning LMP2 24 Hours of Le Mans champions.

“We had a good race today with all our teams taking points, all the podium places and the top five race finishes. The tyres performed really well. Harry Tincknell and Simon Dolan were especially complementary about the performance and consistency – Harry set the fastest lap of the race on lap 18 of a stint and was confident of triple stints with virtually no drop-off. It’s good to know that our 2015 tyres suit both professional and gentlemen drivers

Mike McGregor, Senior Engineer, Dunlop .



In LMGTE Pro, a race-long fight raged between the leading contenders, who were rarely more than twenty seconds apart throughout the whole six-hour race.

The #99 Aston Martin Vantage V8 of Fernando Rees, Alex MacDowell and Richie Stanaway took their first WEC win and headed home the #92 Porsche Team Manthey entered Porsche 911 RSR driven by Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki.

Rees took the chequered flag 24.491s ahead of the Porsche but the final stint had been a stressful affair for the Brazilian, as he soaked up significant pressure from reigning GT champion Gianmaria Bruni in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia.

That pressure subsided when the Ferrari was given a one-minute stop and go penalty for a pit stop infraction. A dropped tyre at the final stop ultimately cost the AF Corse team a second consecutive win this season and the Italian a third consecutive victory at Spa. The penalty dropped Bruni and Vilander back to fourth position in class.

Rees drove perhaps the race of his career so far with some excellent early race stints to ensure the platform was built for today’s victory. Richie Stanaway then increased the lead before Alex MacDowell completed a single stint, handing back over to Rees for the final hour.

“We played our strategy by ear,” said Richie Stanaway. “We had done some analysis of our race at Silverstone and had understood where we had lost time. Our pit stops were perfect. Ferrari did a mistake, that is also what we needed to win this race”

Richie Stanaway



The #98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda claimed a second consecutive victory in what marked a perfect start to the season for the trio. They have now taken maximum points at each of the first two rounds and today marked a remarkable fifth win from the last seven WEC events.

It was not an entirely straightforward race for the #98 car as its pace dropped off as the track rubbered in, particularly in the later stages. Pedro Lamy began the race on an old set of Michelins but still opened up a small gap to the opposition. Paul Dalla Lana and then Mathias Lauda drove impressive stints, despite a spin at the final chicane for the Canadian.

“It was a strange race in some respects as everyone seemed to be on different strategies. It is nice to start the season off with two maximum scores and these guys next to me (Lamy and Lauda) have been fantastic. It is always a thrill to win with Aston Martin and I am a very happy man this evening.”

Paul Della Lana

All materials are courtesy of PR materials