Déjà vu struck at Spa as the World Endurance Championship delivered another thriller with Porsche quickest, Audi smartest and Toyota anonymous. Porsche will wonder what more it has to do to beat the André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer-crewed no7 Audi R18, which stole the Spa 6 Hours for its second dramatic win in as many races.
Porsche must also be wondering what Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard have done to deserve such rotten luck as, for the second successive round, their early dominance failed to yield a win; this time a 15-second stop-and-go penalty and further reliability issues held them back. Unlike at Silverstone, however, they salvaged third behind team-mates Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas.
It was again Lotterer who foiled Porsche, nurturing his tyres enough to double stint, take the lead in the fourth hour and become the first non-Porsche to run at the front. He fought hard to stay there, and Tréluyer consolidated that lead by likewise double-stinting. He then kept those same boots on during a splash-and-dash with 20 minutes to go to hold on for a superb 13-second win.
Jota Sport enjoyed a perfect preparation for its Le Mans defence, as Harry Tincknell, Mitch Evans and Simon Dolan dominated LMP2, despite an early stop-and-go. G-Drive’s Gustavo Yacaman, Pipo Derani and Ricardo Gonzalez profited from their team-mates’ woes to inherit second.
Aston Martin took a clean sweep in the GT classes, as Alex MacDowell, Richie Stanaway and Fernando Rees led GTE Pro almost all race and the no98 of Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy did similarly in GTE Am.
They both needed a dose of luck: AF Corse snatched the Pro lead, but was instantly summoned for a one-minute stop-and-go with only minutes remaining. The no98 car was given an easier run when the Larbre Corvette was inexplicably nudged out of the race by an LMP2. Jack Phillips