Christopher Haase and Audi have taken over the lead of the Intercontinental GT Challenge following their victory in this weekend’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.
The No. 25 Audi Sport Team Sainteloc entry of Haase, Markus Winkelhock and Jules Gounon edged out the No. 8 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 in one of the most competitive Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup races in history, which saw six cars representing four manufacturers finish on the lead lap.
It marked Audi’s fourth win in the Belgian endurance classic and its first since 2014.
Haase, who finished 13th in February’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in a Melbourne Performance Centre-entered Audi, now holds a single-point lead over the Bathurst-winning trio of Toni Vilander, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, the latter two drivers who did not contest Spa.
Sunday’s runner-up finishing Bentley trio of Vincent Abril, Maxime Soulet and Andy Soucek, meanwhile, move into third in the drivers’ standings with 20 points each.
Audi now has a nine-point lead over Bentley in the IGTC Manufacturers Championship, thanks to its fifth place-finishing No. 2 Audi Sport Team WRT entry, which contributed 10 points to Sainteloc’s 25 for the Spa win.
Porsche, which finished fourth at Spa with the No. 117 Team75 Bernhard entry, has dropped to third in the title race, 14 points behind Audi.
Unlike last year’s inaugural championship that went to Audi and Laurens Vanthoor, points are scored for all drivers and manufacturers that are competing in each of the four IGTC rounds.
The new-for-2017 California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is next up and is set for Oct. 13-15.