Spa-Francorchamps
Credit: © ADRENALMEDIA.COM / Gabi Tomescu

After six hours of action, the #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing took the overall win at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, FIA WEC Season 9 opener.

With two hours remaining on the clock, further drama followed with the pole-sitting #7 of Kamui Kobayashi locked up after Les Combes and drove into a gravel trap.

This initiated the race’s second full-course yellow giving an opportunity for their sister #8 to pit.

FIA WEC debutant and former DTM rookie Fabio Scherer was putting a strong maiden drive in the Oreca 07 Gibson as the #22 continue to assert their dominance from last year’s WEC and ELMS commitments.

The Swiss was chasing down the #7 from the moment the FCY was relieved fighting for an overall third position.

Just as this chase briefly commenced, the #36 was being chased by the #7 to get the lap back, after the Alpine lapped the Japanese marque after their mistake.

Albuquerque took over the #22 and the #36 had Andre Negrao back in who started the race.

In light of the first Full-Course Yellow period, six competitors were penalised with a drive-through penalty for ‘violations’ during that period:

The #98 Aston Martin Racing, #47 Cetilar Racing, #20 High Class Racing, #52 AF Corse, #60 Iron Lynx, #38 JOTA, and the #22 United Autosports.

The latter driver-through of which closed the LMP2 lead but only briefly as the United car further established their lead in the hands of Filipe Albuquerque.

Meanwhile, the #31 Team WRT that spent its time in the pits due to a clutch release failure were back out and far behind the whole GTE field in their FIA WEC debuting race.

The #28 and #38 sister JOTAs of Tom Blomqvist and former LMP World Champion Anthony Davidson were on the same stints thus fought hard until the finish running 2nd and 3rd in the LMP2 category.

The chase continued with the #36 experiencing a puncture with 40 minutes to go but was in their pit window. A slower in-lap was the only consequence.

With 19 minutes left, the third and final Full-Course Yellow period was for Jaxon Evans of the #77 who stopped at the top of the Les Combes hill and retired the car.

By the end, the #8 charged to the team’s 30th overall race victory for their GR010 Hybrid followed by the #36 who finished just over a minute behind, and the troubled-#7 sister car finishing

The #22 United Autosport USA of Filipe Albuquerque, Fabio Scherer (taking a class-win on his FIA WEC debut) and Phil Hanson took the team’s sixth consecutive WEC victory.

Racing Team Nederland were victorious in the new LMP2 Pro/Am sub-category, as the #92 Porsche GT Estre and Jani duo took the victory above the GTE fields.

The GTE-Am reigning champions #83 AF Corse took a well-earned victory.

Matthieu Vaxiviere of the #36 set the fastest time of the race on lap 89 with a 2m04.822s.

OVERALL POSITION TEAM
1 #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing [HYPERCAR]
2 #36 Alpine Elf Matmut [HYPERCAR]
3 #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing [HYPERCAR]
4 #22 United Autosports [LMP2]
5 #38 JOTA [LMP2]
6 #28 JOTA [LMP2]
7 #29 Racing Team Nederland (Pro/Am) [LMP2]
8 #34 Inter Europol Competition (Pro/Am) [LMP2]
9 #70 Realteam Racing (Pro/Am) [LMP2]
10 #21 DragonSpeed USA (Pro/Am) [LMP2]
11 #1 Richard Mille Racing [LMP2]
12 #25 G-Drive Racing (Pro/Am) [LMP2]
13 #20 High Class Racing [LMP2]
14 #24 PR1 Motorsports (Pro/Am) [LMP2]
15 #92 Porsche GT Team [GTE-PRO]
16 #51 AF Corse [GTE-PRO]
17 #52 AF Corse [GTE-PRO]
18 #63 Corvette Racing [GTE-PRO]
19 #91 Porsche GT Team [GTE-PRO]
20 #83 AF Corse [GTE-AM]
21 #33 TF Sport [GTE-AM]
22 #47 Cetilar Racing [GTE-AM]
23 #54 AF Corse [GTE-AM]
24 #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing [GTE-AM]
25 #98 Aston Martin Racing [GTE-AM]
26 #777 D’station Racing [GTE-AM]
27 #85 Iron Lynx [GTE-AM]
28 #60 Iron Lynx [GTE-AM]
29 #31 Team WRT [LMP2]
30 #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing [GTE-AM] *DNF*
31 #26 G-Drive Racing [LMP2] *DNF*
32 #44 ARC Bratislava (Pro/Am) [LMP2] *DNF*
33 #86 GR Racing [GTE-AM] *DNF*
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