6H Spa: Hypercar pit-cycle hints fight to the finish, Porsche head GTE-Pro after 4 hours

After four hours of action so far, the #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing leads the overall field at the FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

Heading into the four-hour mark, things settled in GTE-Am, there were more battles in the LMP2 field.

The #22 led over the #26 of Nyck De Vries by over a minute but further down the category, the #28 JOTA of Sean Gelael being chased down by WEC debutant and DTM star Ferdinand Habsburg.

His chase on the fellow Oreca became one of the key battles in the third hour of the race.

In GTE-Am, Rahel Frey in the #85 Iron Dames Ferrari was making moves after a double-overtake on the #777 and #88 to get the car into fourth after 2 hours and 36 minutes.

Team WRT continued their intense fight on the #28 with a move at La Source.

Meanwhile, Antonio Felix Da Costa of the other #38 JOTA chased down the WRT and had several side-by-side clashes including up Eau Rouge.

Approaching the three-hour mark, Fabio Scherer made his his FIA WEC debut with the United squad and continued to establish the team’s category-dominant lead.

We also had the #7 of Jose Maria Lopez chasing down Hypercar rival #36 Nico Lapierre with two-seconds separating the two dueling leaders.

The #31 of earlier was pulled into the garage due to a clutch issue.

Matthieu Vaxiviere of the #36 debuted into the top category by setting the fastest time of the race on lap 89 with a 2m04.822s.

There was contact between the #7 and the #91 into the bus-stop chicane as Lopez slightly misjudged the braking point and knocked the GR010 Hybrid’s front-left headlight cover off. Which was awarded a drive-through-penalty later on.

The LMP2 category surpassed over 1000 overtakes in the action-packed prototype category.

A first Full-Course Yellow was deployed to retrieve the light-cover and debut from a rear-right tyre puncture on the #91 (unrelated to the contact just mentioned) thus causing Richard Lietz to pit.

Speaking of which, Oliver Gavin had just completed his final stint of his professional racing career.

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