Toyota take another one-two after crashes for Ferrari and Cadillac at Spa

WEC Hypercar

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Toyota Gazoo Racing scored their third consecutive win in as many races in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, and clinched their second one-two.

Meanwhile in the LMGTE Am category, 19-year-old Lilou Wadoux has become the first woman to score a class win in the World Endurance Championship.

Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez, and team principal Kamui Kobayashi drove a flawless race in the number seven Toyota GR010 Hybrid. The track was wet in the opening and Conway started the race from pole position on slick tyres. He struggled in the opening laps and lost several positions to drivers on wet weather rubber, but once the track dried out and he was able to put heat into his tyres, he retook the lead and drove away from the rest of the field.

From there, it was as simple as Conway passing the baton to Lopez, who then passed the baton over to Kobayashi, who brought the car home after six hours and 148 laps of racing. It’s their second win of the season and a much-needed recovery from a difficult Six Hours of Portimao, where the car suffered a drivetrain problem.

From 36th place on the 37-car grid (following the withdrawal of the number 56 Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR), the sister Toyota of Sebastien Buemi, Ryo Hirakawa, and Brendon Hartley finished in second place, to maintain their joint lead in the World Endurance Hypercar Drivers’ Championship.

Toyota’s closest brush with catastrophe was a close call in the final hour at the top of Raidillon, where Hartley rejoined after a pit stop on cold tyres just as Kobayashi was approaching. Kobayashi drove around Hartley in the run-off to avoid a collision. The number seven Toyota was given a five-second time penalty after the race for the out-of-bounds overtake, but that did not affect the final result.

Ferrari-AF Corse took the final podium position on the last lap as James Calado overtook Frederic Makowiecki’s Penske Porsche with a significant pace advantage. Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi, and Antonio Giovinazzi in the number 51 Ferrari led the race early on when Giovinazzi took the start on wet tyres.

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Giovinazzi’s advantage on wet rubber only lasted until the first Safety Car intervention, when Claudio Schiavoni in the number 60 Iron Lynx Porsche 911 RSR spun off into the gravel less than ten minutes into the race. On the ensuing restart he was quickly passed and dropped down the order. Making matters worse, the Ferrari 499Ps had a nightmarish time trying to get heat into their fresh sets of slick tyres and at one point they dropped off the lead lap.

Only one Ferrari saw the chequered flag after Fuoco crashed
That same trouble with cold tyres also caused Antonio Fuoco to crash out in the number 50 Ferrari with just over 90 minutes left in the race. Fuoco spun the tyres in fourth gear on the run from La Source to Eau Rouge, veered off to the left and crashed into the armco barrier. Fuoco let out a scream of fury in his helmet and once again, the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest)’s ban on tyre warmers was called into question after a professional driver crashed a Hypercar on their own trying to put heat into their tyres.

The number five Porsche Penske Motorsports 963 dropped to fourth in the end. Dane Cameron, Michael Christensen and Frederic Makowiecki almost had their second podium in a row but it was not to be, as Makowiecki’s pace dropped off late in his final stint and left him vulnerable to Calado passing him into Les Combes. It was still the highest-finishing LMDh (Le Mans Daytona Hybrid) on the day, ahead of the number two Cadillac Racing V-Series.R in fifth.

Renger van der Zande’s shocking crash aboard the number three Cadillac brought out the Safety Car in the second hour of the race. The Dutch driver walked away after his yellow and grey Cadillac bottomed out at Eau Rouge, lost steering, and broadsided the tyre barriers.

The number six Penske Porsche dropped out of the race with a mechanical problem. Laurens Vanthoor came to a stop at the frontstretch while running inside the overall top three.

On the other hand, Team Jota brought the first privateer-entered Porsche 963 home in sixth place overall – a great result for the number 38 crew of Antonio Felix da Costa, Will Stevens and Yifei Ye.

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The number 93 Peugeot 9X8 Hybrid was seventh in the Hypercar class but 13th overall, behind the top six in LMP2 – its sister car finished 17th overall. Glickenhaus Racing won the battle of the Hypercar privateers by default after Jacques Villeneuve’s collision with the number 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 of Francesco Castellacci knocked the Vanwall Vandervell 680 out of the race.

A milestone winner was crowned in the LMGTE Am category when Alessio Rovera brought the number 83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE to the chequered flag and secured the class victory – as Wadoux became the first woman in the young history of the WEC to achieve a class win. Wadoux, Rovera, and Luis Perez Companc drove a near flawless race in their own right and Wadoux had the honour of driving her car to the lead in the middle stages of the race.

Second place in GTE Am wasn’t settled until the final corners, but in the end the number 33 Corvette Racing C8.R was able to hold on over the number 25 ORT by TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage. Corvette held on to a substantial lead in the GTE Am Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships.

Likewise there was good action in LMP2. The number 41 Team WRT Oreca 07 of Rui Andrade, Louis Deletraz, and Robert Kubica picked up the win after a fine battle with United Autosports’ Josh Pierson, Tom Blomqvist, and Oliver Jarvis late in the race.

A last-hour charge from Albert Costa gave Inter Europol Competition – the only LMP2 team without ties to a current or pending Hypercar programme – the final LMP2 podium position. Prema’s number 63 car driven by Mirko Bortolotti, Daniil Kvyat and Doriane Pin dropped out of the lead battle after a three-minute penalty stop for violating Safety Car procedures.

The next round for the World Endurance Championship is the race 100 years in the making: The centeniary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, on 11-12 June.

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WEC Six Hours of Spa results

17Hypercar (Hybrid)ToyotaToyota GR010 HybridMike Conway/Kamui Kobayashi/Jose Maria Lopez
28Hypercar (Hybrid)ToyotaToyota GR010 HybridSebastien Buemi/Brendon Hartley/Ryo Hirakawa16.637
351Hypercar (Hybrid)Ferrari AF CorseFerrari 499PAlessandro Pier Guidi/James Calado/Antonio Giovinazzi57.802
45Hypercar (Hybrid)Porsche PenskePorsche 963Dane Cameron/Michael Christensen/Frederic Makowiecki2.825
52Hypercar (Hybrid)CadillacCadillac V-Series.REarl Bamber/Alex Lynn/Richard Westbrook1 lap
638Hypercar (Hybrid)JotaPorsche 963Antonio Felix da Costa/Will Stevens/Yifei Ye1:04.549
741LMP2Team WRTOreca 07 – GibsonRui Andrade/Robert Kubica/Louis Deletraz1 lap
823LMP2United AutosportsOreca 07 – GibsonJoshua Pierson/Tom Blomqvist/Oliver Jarvis6.042
934LMP2Inter EuropolOreca 07 – GibsonJakub Smiechowski/Fabio Scherer/Albert Costa9.415
109LMP2PremaOreca 07 – GibsonFilip Ugran/Bent Viscaal/Andrea Caldarelli7.649
1122LMP2United AutosportsOreca 07 – GibsonFrederick Lubin/Philip Hanson/Filipe Albuquerque4.21
1231LMP2Team WRTOreca 07 – GibsonSean Gelael/Ferdinand Habsburg/Robin Frijns0.67
1393Hypercar (Hybrid)PeugeotPeugeot 9X8Paul di Resta/Mikkel Jensen/Jean-Eric Vergne5.251
14708HypercarGlickenhausGlickenhaus 007Romain Dumas/Oliveir Pla/Franck Mailleux2.904
1536LMP2AlpineOreca 07 – GibsonMatthieu Vaxiviere/Julien Canal/Charles Milesi26.006
1635LMP2AlpineOreca 07 – GibsonAndre Negrão/Memo Rojas/Oliver Caldwell17.199
1794Hypercar (Hybrid)PeugeotPeugeot 9X8Loic Duval/Gustavo Menezes/Nico Mueller9.884
1828LMP2JotaOreca 07 – GibsonDavid Heinemeier Hansson/Pietro Fittipaldi/Oliver Rasmussen1 lap
1963LMP2PremaOreca 07 – GibsonDoriane Pin/Mirko Bortolotti/Daniil Kvyat1 lap
2083LMGTE AmAF CorseFerrari 488 GTE EVOLuis Perez Companc/Lilou Wadoux/Alessio Rovera4 laps
2133LMGTE AmCorvetteChevrolet Corvette C8.RBen Keating/Nicolas Varrone/Nicky Catsburg18.653
2225LMGTE AmORT by TFAston Martin Vantage AMRAhmad Al Harthy/Michael Dinan/Charlie Eastwood0.249
2388LMGTE AmProton CompetitionPorsche 911 RSR 19Ryan Hardwick/Zacharie Robichon/Harry Tincknell1 lap
2485LMGTE AmIron DamesPorsche 911 RSR 19Sarah Bovy/Michelle Gatting/Rahel Frey10.469
2521LMGTE AmAF CorseFerrari 488 GTE EVOStefano Costantini/Simon Mann/Ulysse de Pauw2.977
2698LMGTE AmNorthwest AMRAston Martin Vantage AMRIan James/Daniel Mancinelli/Alex Riberas25.178
2757LMGTE AmKesselFerrari 488 GTE EVOTakeshi Kimura/Scott Huffaker/Daniel Serra52.841
28777LMGTE AmD’StationAston Martin Vantage AMRSatoshi Hoshino/Casper Stevenson/Tomonobu Fujii1 lap
2977LMGTE AmDempsey-ProtonPorsche 911 RSR 19Christian Ried/Mikkel Pedersen/Julien Andlauer11
3060LMGTE AmIron LynxPorsche 911 RSR 19Claudio Schiavoni/Matteo Cressoni/Alessio Picariello1 lap
3186LMGTE AmGRPorsche 911 RSR 19Michael Wainwright/Riccardo Pera/Benjamin Barker1 lap
3254LMGTE AmAF CorseFerrari 488 GTE EVOThomas Flohr/Francesco Castellacci/Davide Rigon57 laps
3350Hypercar (Hybrid)Ferrari AF CorseFerrari 499PAntonio Fuoco/Miguel Molina/Nicklas Nielsen2 laps
344HypercarFloyd VanwallVanwall Vandervell 680Tom Dillmann/Esteban Guerrieri/Jacques Villeneuve25 laps
356Hypercar (Hybrid)Porsche PenskePorsche 963Kevin Estre/Andre Lotterer/Laurens Vanthoor26 laps
363Hypercar (Hybrid)CadillacCadillac V-Series.RSebastien Bourdais/Renger van der Zande/Jack Aitken13 laps
3710LMP2Vector SportOreca 07 – GibsonRyan Cullen/Matthias Kaiser/Gabriel Aubry25 laps

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Author information

RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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2 comments on “Toyota take another one-two after crashes for Ferrari and Cadillac at Spa”

  1. Not sure why that D’Station #777 blatantly pushing the Iron Dames off track all the way down the straight going into Eau Rouge wasn’t even investigated. That’s not racing, and is not allowed – at least in theory – in any FIA series.

    Unfortunately the race is being made hard to watch because of all the FCYs. Very disappointed that the FIA/ACO isn’t doing anything with its far superior slow zone technology used to great effect at Le Mans. This constant bunching up of the field is ruining the strategic element of an endurance race, not to mention the spectators of proper racing at all the parts of the track where a yellow flag is not necessary.

  2. “Not sure why that D’Station #777 blatantly pushing the Iron Dames off track all the way down the straight going into Eau Rouge wasn’t even investigated.”

    But it was? They were given a 30 second stop-go.

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