Text: Anton Andres / Photos: WEC Press | posted May 04, 2015 17:28
Audi wins Spa after last minute duel with Porsche
The trio of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler bring home the trophy after tense final minutes with Porsche 919 driven by Neel Jani hot on their tail. With fifteen minutes to go, the Porsche was just 13 seconds behind the Audi, a close gap for endurance racing.
Porsche dominated qualifying with a 1-2-3 start headed by the team of Nick Tandy, Nico Hulkenberg and Earl Bamber; with Tandy driving for the first stint. The number 19 Porsche ran into trouble however when the Porsche 911 of Kevin Estre tangled with them and caused major body damage to the LMP1 racer. Estre was later given a penalty for causing the collision. The other Porsche trio of Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber also ran into problems when they suffered suspension issues during the six hour race. They would eventually finish third, behind the trio of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb.
Toyota finished fifth with drivers Stephane Sarrazin, Alex Wurz and Mike Conway driving the number 2 car. The number 1 Toyota of Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi, which had been rebuilt after the accident in free practice, had several throttle issues during the race but was able to finish eighth.
Audi had a tough day as well when the team of Oliver Jarvis, Loic Duval and Lucas Di Grassi had electrical issues, forcing the car to spend several laps in the garage. The problem was solved by a new installing a new ECU but in the last few laps Jarvis ended up in the tyre wall at Turn 14. Jarvis limped the car on the way to a seventh place finish. The team of Filipe Albaquerue, Marco Bonanomi and René Ras had a relatively quiet race and finished fourth and the team of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler emerging victorious.
The podium finishers for LMP1 are Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler for Audi, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb for Porsche and Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber, also for Porsche.
The next race will be the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13-14 in the De La Sarthe Circuit.