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Snow Forces Early Safety Car at Spa

Freezing conditions force opening-hour safety car at Spa-Francorchamps..

Photo: MPS Agency

Heavy snowfall has forced the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps to be placed under safety car conditions after 25 minutes of green-flag running.

The race got underway in dry weather but sleet had started to fall by the time the leaders had started the second lap.

Both Toyota TS050 Hybrids and Rebellion R13 Gibsons pitted at the end of lap two, while the SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 AERs came in a lap later for wet-weather tires.

Mike Conway consolidated his pole position by leading the opening sequence in the No. 7 Toyota, while a slow stop for the Japanese manufacturer’s sister No. 8 car dropped Sebastien Buemi to third.

Thomas Laurent was running second in the No. 3 Rebellion, 11 seconds away from Conway, when the safety car was brought out.

Giedo van der Garde took the LMP2 lead on the opening lap from Jean-Eric Vergne and was running fourth overall in the No. 29 Racing Team Nederland Dallara P217 Gibson after the opening pit stops.

The Dutchman was then caught and passed by Stoffel Vandoorne in the No. 11 SMP car, while Neel Jani ran sixth in the second Rebellion.

BMW Team MTEK driver Antonio Felix da Costa made a lunge down the inside of at Aston Martin Racing’s Nicki Thiim at Pouhon to claim the GTE-Pro lead early on.

Thiim, who started fourth, emerged out front by pitting earliest of the front-runners, but was down to third when the safety car arrived after Kevin Estre made his way past in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR.

GTE-Am is currently being led by Team Project 1’s Porsche with Egidio Perfetti at the wheel.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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