World Endurance Championship 2014: Toyota wins the Six Hours of Spa
In the 2014 season of the World Endurance Championship, Toyota are taking the fight straight to the Audis. The win at the Six Hours of Spa makes it two wins from two races for the No. 8 car of Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi. This puts them firmly in the lead in both the constructors as well as drivers' championships standings.
This time, Audi ran three cars but they stayed largely anonymous. One of the main problems for the Audis was the lack of straight-line speed. However, a quick pit-stop during the second half of the race, helped the No. 1 car of the defending champions Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval and Tom Kristensen take second place. During qualifying, Porsche's No. 14 car took pole by more than 1.2 seconds, while the No. 8 Toyota took second and the No. 2 Audi took third.
Now, in the championship standings, Toyota have extended their lead with a total of 84 points, Porsche with 36 points and Audi has finally been able to get some points on the board with a total of 28 points.
While Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima brought the second No. 7 Toyota home in third place. The No. 8 Toyota TS040 took the lead from the No. 14 Porsche 919 of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb after the first hour of hard racing while the No. 14 car finished in fourth place. The other Porsche of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley could only finish in 23rd place. The car was plagued with mechanical troubles and after 50 laps began to struggle with its pace.
Sebastien Buemi began to hunt down first place and at the next pit stops took the lead and set about building an advantage.
The No.2 Audi of Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer and the No. 3 car of Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Bonanomi finished fifth and sixth. In the LMP1-L class, Rebellion Racing ran their new R-One cars. They were the only entrants in the class and their No. 12 car of Nicolas Prost, Mathias Beche and Nick Heidfeld managed to pull out an impressive seventh place while the No. 13 car of Dominik Kraihamer, Andrea Belicchi and Fabio Leimer retired after 21 laps due to Mechanical issues. Their car never ran during free practice or qualifying, but was cleared for the race.
Toyota driver Anthony Davidson said, "This season is the first time I have ever led a World Championship. Sebastien did a lot of the hard work in the difficult middle part of the race so when I got in it was pretty much job done. It's great we got two cars on to the podium again". In the LMP2 class, the Morgan-Nissan of Roman Rusinov, Olivier Pla and Julien Canal extended their championship lead with a fairly easy victory with the only hiccup being a bonnet change. After Porsche's win in the LMGTE Pro class in Silverstone, the No. 51 AF Corsa Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander took its revenge at Spa. Ferrari also claimed the victory in the LMGTE Pro class with their No. 61 AF Corsa Ferrari of Luis Perez-Companc, Marco Cioci and Mirko Venturi placing first; ahead of the two Aston Martins.
The no. 51 AF Corse Ferrari ruled from start to finish. Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander started from pole position.
In a couple of weeks time, all the contenders of the World Endurance Championship will be at Le mans on the 1st of June for testing two weeks before the holy grail of the series begins at the Circuit de la Sarthe -- The legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.
2014 Six Hours of Spa: Results
|1||Toyota TS040 Hybrid|
|2||Audi Sport Joest R18 e-tron|
|3||Toyota TS040 Hybrid|
|4||Porsche 919 Hybrid|
|5||Audi Sport Joest R18 e-tron|
|6||Audi Sport Joest R18 e-tron|
|7||Rebellion R-ONE Toyota|
|8||G-Drive Morgan Nissan|
|9||Jota Zytek Z11SN Nissan|
|10||KCMG Oreca 03 Nissan|
|11||SMP Oreca 03 Nissan|
|12||SMP Oreca 03 Nissan|
|13||AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia|
|14||Porsche Team Manthay 911|
|15||AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia|
|16||Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8|
|17||Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8|
|18||AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia|
|19||Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8|
|20||Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8|
|21||Porsche Team Manthay 911|
|22||Prospeed Porsche 911 GT3 RSR|
|23||Porsche 919 Hybrid|
|24||AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia|
|25||Prospeed Porsche 911 GT3 RSR|
|26||AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia|
|27||8 Star Ferrari F458 Italia|
|28||Rebellion R-ONE Toyota|
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