***Fans have turned out in full force again for today’s WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. At 10am traffic was already reported to be at a footpace all the way from the highway to the Spa circuit entrance. The race gets underway at 2:30 p.m. local (8:30 a.m. ET) with live coverage on http://live.fiawec.com, the FIA WEC App. We will also provide live race updates on Twitter @Sportscar365.
***The No. 37 SMP Racing Oreca 03 Nissan will take the start of the race after an all-nighter by the Russian-backed crew, which worked until 6 a.m. to replace the tub following Viktor Shaitar’s crash in second practice. Kirill Ladygin will start the car.
***Additionally, the stewards have allowed the No. 13 Rebellion Racing R-One to take part in the race, despite also missing yesterday’s qualifying session. Andrea Belicchi will start from the pit lane after the last car has completed its first lap.
***The Porsche 911 RSRs have been hit with a 25 kg weight increase for this weekend, something Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport, doesn’t agree with. “I honestly have a difficult time understanding, especially when you take into consideration that the Aston Martin got another 15 kg relief,” he told Sportscar365. Compared to Bahrain, the 991-based Porsche and Aston are at a 55 kg difference in weight, with the Ferrari F458 Italia remaining unchanged.
***Kristen said that Dempsey Racing-Proton, which will debut a Porsche 911 RSR at Le Mans, is considering additional FIA WEC races with the car later in the season. He also expects an additional customer to take delivery of a 911 RSR for the European Le Mans Series by August.
***Despite relocating from the UK to Germany, Dunlop is still focused on testing and development of GT tires for 2015. “We continue to work on the GT tires with our partners BMW and AMG,” said Dunlop Motorsport Europe’s General Manager Jean-Felix Bazelin, who also confirmed Dunlop is following the GT/GT+ talks with interest.
***Dunlop is also interested in LMP1, despite LMP2 being its focus area this season. “LMP1 is very interesting, it is currently very close to LMP2,” said Bazelin. “We won’t say no to LMP1 should the opportunity arise, we’re always interested.”
***There is a considerable difference in maximum speeds between the LMP1 cars here at Spa. The No. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid was fastest in the speed traps with a top speed of 311.2 km/h. The two Toyota TS040s and the second Porsche all topped at 308.6 km/h. The long-tail version of the Audi was fifth fastest with a top speed of 302.5; the two regular cars only managed 288.0 and 285.7 km/h. At Silverstone the two Audis were 30 km/h off the pace in the speed traps.
***Thirteen former winners of the race will compete in today’s race. Tom Kristensen, Loïc Duval, André Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer, Marcel Fässler, Alexander Wurz , Stéphane Sarrazin, Anthony Davidson, Romain Dumas, Nicolas Minassian, Marc Gené, Emmanuel Collard and Pedro Lamy have all won the race before. Kristensen won it once, back in 2003 in the Audi Sport Japan Audi R8.
***Former FIA GT and Le Mans Series GT1 champion Gabriele Gardel won the first of two Trofeo Maserati support races this morning. The Swiss driver won the 2005 FIA GT title with a Ferrari 550 Maranello and two Le Mans Series titles in an Aston Martin DBR9 and a Saleen S7R.
Marcel ten Caat, John Dagys and Vincent Wouters contributed to this report