Audi drivers Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis took a first World Endurance Championship victory together at Spa.
The winning Audi moved into the lead halfway through the fourth hour when the #5 Toyota TS050 HYBRID shared by Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima suffered major engine failure. The Toyota was a lap clear of the second-place Audi and looked on course for victory when Nakajima brought the smoking car into the pits.
All six factory LMP1 cars encountered problems over the course of the six-hour race, although a late-change of the rear body section of the winning Audi was precautionary.
For di Grassi and Jarvis, it was their first ever victories in the series.
“You never forget your first victory, and definitely I won’t forget this one,” said di Grassi. “It was a crazy race. I worked very hard, we’ve been unlucky sometimes, and we never got to the right place – but we did today. I’m very proud of the job my two teammates made, and Audi Sport.
“Ours was the only car that endured the race without a major problem. That was the main reason why we won. Nevertheless, it doesn’t feel less tasty for that. I’m going to enjoy this victory very much.”
“We’ve been through some really hard times together since last year, but we’ve definitely been lucky this weekend. I believe it’s well deserved, because we should have won before.
“In terms of performance, we were not where we wanted to be. We have to work on that for the next events. After the disappointment of Silverstone, it’s great to win again for Audi.”
Rebellion Racing 3rd and 4th overall
After a very strong result at the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship opening round at Silverstone in April where the Rebellion Racing team finished in 3rd and 4th places overall, and with a 1-2 finish in the LMP1 Privateer class, the Swiss team repeated their performance with another 3rd and 4th place finish at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. And for the second time in two races this year Rebellion Racing topped the LMP1 Privateer class with a 1-2 victory.
Dominik Kraihamer - Rebellion R-One AER #13:
“ It’s an awesome result for us and the team, especially as next race will be Le Mans. The team deserve results like we had in Silverstone and here. The contact with the P2 is my mistake, I was careful but the car braked a bit early I think, we saw later that they were having brake problems, it’s part of motor racing and l only lost a bit of time in this incident. Everything worked well for us during the race and I hope it will continue like this!”
Signatech wins frantic LMP2 battle
Mucke’s crash turned the battle for LMP2 honours into a frantic final-hour shootout, as the top four were all brought nose-to-tail.
The #36 Signatech Alpine of Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Stephane Richelmi had assumed the lead in the fourth hour when the class-leading #44 Manor Oreca hit trouble with an apparent brake problem.
The #26 G-Drive Oreca came fifth, but had dominated the early stages before suffering a puncture that lost the car a lap.
Ferrari unstoppable in GTE
The GTE class was led from start to finish by the AF Corse Ferraris, but there was a late sting in the tail for Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado when the #51 488 Italia was forced to head for the garage in the final 10 minutes with engine trouble.
That meant the #71 car of Davide Rigon and Sam Bird took a second consecutive class victory, a lap ahead of the #67 Ford GT of Andy Priaulx, Marino Franchitti and Harry Tincknell.
|1||LMP1||L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi||6h00m32.112s|
|2||LMP1||R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb||Porsche Team||Porsche||2 Laps|
|3||LMP1||M.Tuscher, D.Kraihamer, A.Imperatori||Rebellion Racing||Rebellion/AER||4 Laps|
|4||LMP1||N.Prost, N.Piquet Jr., N.Heidfeld||Rebellion Racing||Rebellion/AER||5 Laps|
|5||LMP1||M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi||5 Laps|
|6||LMP1||S.Trummer, O.Webb, J.Rossiter||ByKOLLES Racing Team||CLM/AER||9 Laps|
|7||LMP2||G.Menezes, N.Lapierre, S.Richelmi||Signatech Alpine||Alpine/Nissan||9 Laps|
|8||LMP2||R.Dalziel, L.Derani, C.Cumming||Extreme Speed Motorsports||Ligier/Nissan||9 Laps|
|9||LMP2||M.Rao, R.Bradley, R.Merhi||Manor||ORECA/Nissan||9 Laps|
|10||LMP2||R.Gonzalez, F.Albuquerque, B.Senna||RGR Sport by Morand||Ligier/Nissan||9 Laps|
|11||LMP2||R.Rusinov, N.Berthon, R.Rast||G-Drive Racing||ORECA/Nissan||10 Laps|
|12||LMP2||S.Dolan, G.van der Garde, J.Dennis||G-Drive Racing||Gibson/Nissan||12 Laps|
|13||LMP2||S.Sharp, E.Brown, J.van Overbeek||Extreme Speed Motorsports||Ligier/Nissan||14 Laps|
|14||GTE Pro||D.Rigon, S.Bird||AF Corse||Ferrari||15 Laps|
|15||LMP2||T.Graves, W.Stevens, J.Jakes||Manor||ORECA/Nissan||16 Laps|
|16||GTE Pro||M.Franchitti, A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell||Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK||Ford||16 Laps|
|17||GTE Pro||R.Stanaway, F.Rees, J.Adam||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||16 Laps|
|18||GTE Pro||R.Lietz, M.Christensen||Dempsey-Proton Racing||Porsche||18 Laps|
|19||GTE Am||P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||20 Laps|
|20||GTE Am||F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas||AF Corse||Ferrari||21 Laps|
|21||GTE Am||Y.Yamagishi, P.Ragues, P.Ruberti||Larbre Competition||Chevrolet||21 Laps|
|22||GTE Am||C.Ried, W.Henzler, J.Camathias||KCMG||Porsche||21 Laps|
|23||GTE Am||M.Wainwright, A.Carroll, B.Barker||Gulf Racing||Porsche||22 Laps|
|24||LMP2||V.Petrov, K.Ladygin, V.Shaytar||SMP Racing||BR Engineering/Nissan||24 Laps|
|25||GTE Am||K.Al Qubaisi, D.Hansson, P.Long||Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing||Porsche||24 Laps|
|26||LMP1||T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley||Porsche Team||Porsche||48 Laps|
|27||LMP1||A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||50 Laps|
|-||LMP2||D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung, N.Panciatici||Baxi DC Racing Alpine||Alpine/Nissan||Retirement|
|-||GTE Pro||G.Bruni, J.Calado||AF Corse||Ferrari||Retirement|
|-||LMP2||N.Minassian, M.Mediani, D.Markozov||SMP Racing||BR Engineering/Nissan||Retirement|
|-||GTE Pro||B.Johnson, S.Mucke, O.Pla||Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK||Ford||Retirement|
|-||LMP1||S.Sarrazin, M.Conway, K.Kobayashi||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||Retirement|
|-||LMP2||N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane||Strakka Racing||Gibson/Nissan||Retirement|
|-||GTE Pro||N.Thiim, M.Sorensen, D.Turner||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||Retirement|
Sources: motorsport.com / autosport.com