Audi celebrates first WEC victory this season at Spa

Audis push each other early
Audis push each other early

Audi has won the unusually tough second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Spa-Francorchamps. In temperatures above 25 degrees centigrade, in the end only two of the six hybrid sports cars from all manufacturers that had started finished at the front of the field in Belgium. Victory with a two-lap advantage was celebrated by Lucas di Grassi/Loic Duval/Oliver Jarvis (BR/F/GB) following an impeccable race in their Audi R18.

The spectators in Belgium witnessed the most thrilling WEC round in a long time. At various times of the 6-hour race, each of the three brands was leading with a clear advantage at least once, but the heat and an action-packed race took their toll. Under the eyes of Matthias Muller, Chairman of the Management Board of Volkswagen AG, and Dr. Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Management Board of AUDI AG for Technical Development, Audi Sport Team Joest was the most successful squad. Lucas di Grassi started the race in car number ‘8’ before his teammate Loic Duval, followed by Oliver Jarvis, took over the cockpit. After six hours of racing with several yellow periods, numerous sports penalties, accidents and technical defects in the field, the trio celebrated its first joint victory. Di Grassi was pleased about his first-ever winners’ trophy with Audi, whereas Jarvis had previously scored one and Duval even four sports car victories with Audi.

Oliver Jarvis, Loic Duval, Lucas di Grassi
Oliver Jarvis, Loic Duval, Lucas di Grassi

"Today, the drivers, the team and the technology had to show real endurance qualities," said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "I am very happy about the first joint victory clinched by Lucas, Loic and Oliver. Sincere congratulations on their impeccable performance." It was Audi’s 106th LMP success in total since the 2000 season.

The number ‘7’ sister car had no chance on this occasion after Marcel Fassler/Andre Lotterer/Benoit Treluyer (CH/D/F) suffered several setbacks. In a duel, Treluyer drove over a curb so hard that the damaged underfloor had to be changed. After the car spent 14.30 minutes in the pits for this to be replaced, the air ducts had to be cleaned at a later stage, which cost further time. When Marcel Fassler touched a car in front of him, the team had to change the hood of his race car. In addition, number ‘7’ received a drive-through penalty for this incident. In the end, the driver trio battled its way forward to position five overall. As a result, Audi scored 40 points in the manufacturers’ classification.

The next commitment for Audi Sport in the WEC will be the test day at Le Mans on June 5. There, the squad is going to prepare for Audi’s 18th participation in the 24-hour race that will be held on June 18 and 19 this year.

The headlines for the final 90 minutes of the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at the chequered flag…

  • Oliver Jarvis takes chequered flag at Spa to clinch win for No.8 Audi R18 he shares with Lucas Di Grassi and Loic Duval
  • Jarvis and Di Grassi celebrate first ever FIA WEC win
  • Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb secure second placed finish despite technical problems for much of the race. The No.2 Porsche trio extend championship points lead
  • Best ever combined FIA WEC finish for Rebellion Racing as they claim third and fourth overall. No.13 leads home No.12 R-One-AER car as they also take LMP1 Privateer maximum points

  • Sensational LMP2 races sees Signatech Alpine of Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Stephane Richelmi win LMP2 class, taking the lead in last five minutes
  • Pipo Derani takes second in No.31 ESM Ligier-Nissan after epic late scrap with Lapierre
  • No.71 Ferrari 488GTE of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon takes second consecutive win after late-race heartbreak for James Calado and Gianmaria Bruni who retire from lead in final ten minutes in the sister No.51 AF Corse Ferrari
  • No.67 Ford GT takes first FIA WEC podium as Tincknell, Priaulx and Franchitti place second in LMGTE Pro
  • No.98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda claim win in LMGTE Am
  • No.83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Francois Perrodo, Rui Aguas and Emmanuel Collard take second place
  • Stefan Mucke, driver of the No.66 Ford GT had a big accident coming out of Eau Rouge. He was assessed at the circuit's medical centre, and the FIA Medical Delegate reported that he has been taken to the local hospital for precautionary checks. The Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK team said the German received heavy bruising but is okay.
  • The No.5 Toyota TS050 HYBRID made history today by being the first WEC entrant to complete a full racing lap using only electric power.

Race Results

Pos Class Driver Team Car Behind
1 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 0.000s
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 A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 46 Laps
27 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 48 Laps
LMP2 D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung, N.Panciatici Baxi DC Racing Alpine Alpine/Nissan DNF
GTE Pro G.Bruni, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari DNF
LMP2 N.Minassian, M.Mediani, D.Markozov SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan DNF
GTE Pro B.Johnson, S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford DNF
LMP1 S.Sarrazin, M.Conway, K.Kobayashi Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota DNF
LMP2 N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane Strakka Racing Gibson/Nissan DNF
GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen, D.Turner Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DNF

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