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WEC Preview: 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

Written by Evan Veer, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Image Credit: Julien Delfosse / DPPI

In the lead up to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the World Endurance Championship makes its now traditional stop in the Ardennes for the 6 Hours of Spa. The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is a favorite with fans and drivers alike, sporting a great layout, and beautiful scenery with a long history to boot. 

Although weather forecasts for the weekend suggest things will stay dry, history has proven that nothing is ever for certain when it comes to the weather at Spa.

All eyes are on Ferrari after their strong weekend at Imola went down the drain, when rain came down and all three 499P’s opted to stay out on dry tyres, leaving Toyota and Porsche to fend out for the win for the remainder of the race. 

These three giants of the racing world seem to be closer than ever, and heading into this weekend, it looks like it will be no different. 

An impressive race from BMW’s #20 showed that given the right conditions, team WRT is already capable of competing around the front of the pack. With Spa coincidentally being the team’s home circuit, and a frequent testing destination for them, this weekend could be another opportunity to impress in their first year of top class competition in the series.

Once the damage of the opening crash had been cleared up, the remainder of the race at Imola was generally positive for most of the rest of the field, with all new manufacturers showing signs of improvement compared to Qatar. 

The only real exception to this hopeful attitude is Cadillac, as its sole entry experienced yet another completely anonymous weekend, in a year when there seems to be little hope of massive progress, until its yet-to-be-determined new factory team brings the expected two full-time upgraded Cadillacs for 2025.

Image Credit - Clément Luck / DPPI

Due to an unfortunate clash with Formula E’s Berlin round several drivers will have to miss out on one of the events. In the WEC’s case, the impact of the clash will be relatively small, as most of the affected teams have decided to run the race with only two drivers, something only allowed for Hypercar entries at six hour races.

The only driver replacement brought about by this situation can be found in the #78 Lexus GT3, as Toyota prodigy and current F2 driver Ritomo Miyata fills in for Kelvin van der Linde. The South African is stepping in for Nico Muller at the ABT Cupra Formula E outfit in Berlin, who in turn is at Spa to fulfill his hypercar commitments for Peugeut. 

Jules Gounon is again filling in at Alpine, as Ferdinand Habsburg is yet to recover from his injuries sustained in a crash during a test for the team last month. As things stand, it is still uncertain whether Habsburg will be able to recover in time for his first top-class Le Mans start in June.

Like Hypercar the pecking order in the LMGT3 class is starting to become more evident, with the entries from Porsche, BMW, and Aston Martin, as well as Ferrari to a certain extent, consistently fighting for the podium positions, while the other teams are still finding their feet in this new environment. 

With WRT coming to their home track after an already very strong weekend at Imola, there is no doubt they will be the ones to watch for once again, but if Spa has taught us anything over the years, it is to always be prepared for the unexpected.


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