Aston Martin Racing claimed its second class victory with the second-generation Aston Martin Vantage GTE in a thrilling Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps GTE-Pro contest.
Porsche, meanwhile, locked up the GTE manufacturers’ world championship with a third place class finish on Saturday.
Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin emerged victorious from a race that featured four safety car periods and multiple episodes of near-blizzard conditions.
After a race-long battle between the five manufacturers, Martin made the deciding move of the race with a lunge down the inside of Davide Rigon’s No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo into Pouhon.
This put the Aston in front for the final-hour safety car, while the order shuffled behind to leave AF Corse’s No. 51 Ferrari in second with James Calado at the wheel.
Martin needed to defend hard from Calado in the closing stages, after a late-race safety car was lifted with less than 15 minutes to go.
Calado was closing in when another bout of sudden snowfall occurred, leaving the race officials to bring out the red flags and ensure a first victory for the Lynn/Martin combination in WEC.
Porsche finished third and fourth, however the German manufacturer’s No. 91 car that reached the podium was due to observe a drive-through penalty shortly before the race was halted.
The class championship-leading duo of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre could, therefore, be promoted to the podium ahead of their closest title challengers Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz, should a time penalty be imposed.
Antonio Felix da Costa and Augusto Farfus finished fourth in class for BMW Team MTEK, ahead of the No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT driven by Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.
Dempsey Proton Take GTE-Am Class Honors
In GTE-Am, Dempsey-Proton Racing’s No. 77 crew of Matt Campbell, Christian Ried and late stand-in Riccardo Pera won with just five seconds in hand to the No. 90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Charlie Eastwood, Euan Hankey and Salih Yoluc.
It marked the third consecutive victory for the Dempsey-Proton crew, while TF Sport claimed its fourth second-place finish of the campaign.
Clearwater Racing’s Ferrari finished on the podium while the No. 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari lost its place in the top-three when Giancarlo Fisichella was spun around by the No. 91 GTE-Pro Porsche in the fifth hour.
RESULTS: Six Hours of Spa