FIA WEC: Hertz Team JOTA wins the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

FIA WEC: Hertz Team JOTA wins the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
FIA WEC: Hertz Team JOTA wins the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

The British private team created a surprise by winning in the third round of the 2024 FIA WEC World Endurance Championship. In LMGT3, the #60 Lamborghini of Iron Lynx went for its victory in the last 20 minutes race.

These TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps 2024, contested in summer conditions and ahead 88,180 spectatorshave their share of surprises in store.

The first part of the race was marked by the good performance of the #99 Proton Competition Porsche 963. The Hypercar driven by Neel Jani and Julien Andlauer dominated the first three hours, before the #51 Ferrari 499P of Ferrari AF Corse took the lead. In the Porsche Penske Motorsport clan we lost the 963 #5 following contact with the wall at the Bus Stop chicane. This car had taken pole position.

With two hours of racing remaining, Earl Bamber, fourth in the general classification with the #2 Cadillac and battling with the #99 Porsche, hit the #31 BMW of Team WRT on the Kemmel straight. An impressive exit from the track which forced the race management to neutralize the event in order to repair the safety rail. The race was restarted for a duration equivalent to that of the neutralization, i.e. 1 hour 44 minutes, to the great pleasure of the spectators.

This completely reshuffled the cards. The #12 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963, which, unlike the #51 Ferrari, had refueled before the neutralization, regained first place. Callum Ilott and Will Stevens controlled the end of the race and finally won ahead of the #6 Porsche 963 from Porsche Penske Motorsport and the #50 Ferrari 499P from Ferrari AF Corse. The success of Hertz Team JOTA constitutes the first from a private team in the Hypercar era. “We started our Hypercar program with this car a year ago, so this victory is a real accomplishment. I have always said that to have a chance of winning you would have to have a perfect race. This is what we did today. In addition, we were lucky, thanks to the different racing facts,” said Will Stevens after the race.

The provisional top 5 in the Hypercar category:

1. Porsche 963 #12 – Hertz Team JOTA – 141 laps
2. Porsche 963 #6 – Porsche Penske Motorsport
3. Ferrari 499P #50 – Ferrari AF Corse
4. Ferrari 499P #51 – Ferrari AF Corse
5. Toyota GR010 Hybrid #7 – Toyota Gazoo Racing

In LMGT3, if the #85 Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2 of the Iron Dames had achieved pole position, it was the #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3 of Manthey EMA which was leading the dance before the race was neutralized. On the restart, Michelle Gatting put the #85 Lamborghini back in the lead, but the Italian team lost its chances of victory following an error during a refueling. Iron Lynx seemed headed for success with the #60 Lamborghini, but a final pit stop on the penultimate lap allowed the #91 Porsche of Manthey EMA to take the lead ahead of the #92 Porsche of Manthey PureRxcing and the Lamborghini #60. “Managing tire wear was the key to success today. We have worked a lot in this area with Goodyear. My two teammates had solid relays. If the race had not resumed, I would have let them both have the honor of getting on the podium. Finally, it’s like we have a second race to compete. We thought we were fighting for a podium and we got the victory,” commented Richard Lietz, driver of Porsche #91

The provisional top 5 in the LMGT3 category:

1. Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3 #91 – Manthey EMA – 130 laps
2. Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3 #92 – Manthey PureRxcing
3. Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2 #60 – Iron Lynx
4. Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2 #85 – Iron Dames
5. McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo #59 – United Autosports

The next round of the FIA ​​WEC will be the 92nd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 12-16, 2024). With three different winners in as many races, the Le Mans classic promises to be thrilling.

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