Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima moved a step closer to the FIA World Endurance Championship drivers’ title with victory in a wet and wild Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
The No. 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing trio benefited from a mid-race technical issue for their teammates in the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid to take their fourth victory of the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’.
It came in a weather-impacted race that featured rain, sleet, snow and hail and eventually ending 14 minutes early due to the deteriorating conditions.
Alonso was in the car at the end when the fourth safety car period of the day was turned into a red flag, with the Toyota finishing one lap ahead of the second-placed No. 3 Rebellion R13 Gibson of Thomas Laurent, Gustavo Menezes and Nathanael Berthon.
The Spaniard was behind the wheel when the No. 7 Toyota encountered a sensor problem that cost it five laps and a place on the overall podium.
Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez recovered through the LMP2 field to finish sixth overall, picking up eight points for their championship haul against 25 for the No. 8 trio.
The result means Alonso, Nakajima and Buemi will head to next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in possession of a 31-point cushion, with a total of 39 points available.
SMP Racing finished fourth and fifth with its pair of BR Engineering BR1 AERs competing with Rebellion throughout the race.
Mikhail Aleshin brought the Russian squad’s No. 11 car home in fourth, ahead of Sergey Sirotkin in the sister No. 17 machine which lost a lap when one of its wheels fell off in the third hour.
Rebellion Racing’s No. 1 car driven by Andre Lotterer, Bruno Senna and Neel Jani rounded out the LMP1 top-five, one lap off the second SMP car and a further lap ahead of the recovering Toyota.
DragonSpeed Takes First WEC Victory
Anthony Davidson, Pastor Maldonado and Roberto Gonzalez helped DragonSpeed to its maiden WEC class win with the No. 31 Oreca 07 Gibson.
Maldonado charged to the front of the class pack in the early stages of the final hour and held position through the late-race safety car to take the win ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne in the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Aurus 01 Gibson.
In the battle for the final podium spot, Signatech Alpine extended its narrow lead over Jackie Chan DC Racing’s No. 38 crew in the LMP2 points with Nicolas Lapierre, Pierre Thiriet and Andre Negrao coming through in third.
The result means the Signatech trio carries a five-point advantage into Le Mans over main rivals Gabriel Aubry, Stephane Richelmi and Ho-Pin Tung.
RESULTS: Six Hours of Spa