Le Mans: Audi wins six hours of Spa image

After dominating the 12 Hours of Sebring, Romain Dumas/Loïc Duval/Marc Gené won the Spa 6 Hours, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC.

The No. 3 Audi R18 Ultra of Romain Dumas, Loic Duval and Marc Gene led an Audi 1-2-3-4 in the battle that began in wet conditions but dried out by the second hour.

The two hybrids pitted first and stayed on intermediates for their second stints, but former Peugeot driver Gene, in his first race for Audi, changed to slicks in a smart move that provided the catalyst to begin a spirited pursuit of the e-trons.

This was further assisted by a right-front light problem for Kristensen’s No. 2 car, forcing a regulatory nose change and costing the car 45sec, dropping it to third.

That tire choice was a turning point in the face of this all-Audi race, one that had its fair share of incidents that caused the Audi contingent some time-consuming tire punctures. Dieter Gass, head of racing commitments noted, “Technically the cars ran without any problems throughout the six hours. That was an important step in our preparation for Le Mans.”

With the 1-2-3-4 victory at Spa, four reliably working race cars, a solid driver line-up and an efficiently operating Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi managed a successful dress rehearsal for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The endurance classic will be held for the 80th time on June 16 and 17. Audi is aiming for its eleventh overall victory there.

Spa 6 Hours Race results
1 Dumas/Duval/Gené (Audi R18 ultra), 160 laps in 6h 00.22m708s
2 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) + 46.801s
3 Bonanomi/Jarvis (Audi R18 ultra) – 1 lap
4 Capello/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) – 1 lap
5 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld (Lola-Toyota) – 4 laps
6 Belicchi/Primat (Lola-Toyota) – 5 laps
7 Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD-Honda) – 6 laps
8 Dolan/Hancock (Zytek-Nissan) – 9 laps
9 Martin/Kerr/Graves (Oreca-Nissan) – 9 laps
10 Firth/Hughes/Hartley (Oreca-Nissan) – 9 laps