In six weeks’ time, the FIA WEC will return to Belgium for the penultimate round of the 2018 – 2019 Super Season: the TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
A bumper entry of 35 cars makes up this year’s event, which will get underway on Saturday 4 May and which is the traditional dress rehearsal for the world championship’s pinnacle, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Home-grown heroes on duty
After missing his first ever event since the WEC began back in 2012, André Lotterer will make a welcome return to the championship alongside his regular LMP1 team, Rebellion Racing. The former WEC World Champion is a firm favourite amongst the home fans with Lotterer having grown up in Belgium, also competing under a Belgian licence. Lotterer will replace Switzerland’s Mathias Beche who stepped in for the WEC stalwart at the previous round in Sebring.
Other notable changes in the headline LMP1 category include the return of James Allen who will drive for American team DragonSpeed. The 22-year-old Australian contested both Shanghai and Fuji but was replaced by Renger van der Zande in Sebring.
The other shake-up for the LMP1 class in Belgium will be the return of ByKolles Racing Team with an Enso CLM P1/01-Gibson. So far, Frenchman Tom Dillmann is confirmed to drive with the other names to be announced in due course. The team finished fourth in Spa last time out and will be looking to be a podium contender for this year’s event.
LMP2 will see the traditional, annual return of G-Drive Racing with Russia’s Roman Rusinov, Job Van Uitert and Jean-Eric Vergne sharing driving duties. With only five points separating category leaders Jackie Chan DC Racing and Signatech Alpine Matmut, the fight for the endurance trophy for LMP2 teams will reach fever pitch in Belgium.
World Championship title in reach for Porsche
In LMGTE Pro, the battle for the World Endurance GTE Manufacturers’ Championship will once again see ultra-competitive entries from Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche. Porsche is dominant out front, with the titles in reach at Spa, but the battle for second place remains fraught as only two points separate Ferrari and Ford, with Aston Martin not far behind.
Proudly flying the flag for Belgium on home turf will be Aston Martin Racing’s Maxime Martin in the No. 97 car. Martin will be once again be joined by British driver Alexander Lynn at the wheel.
Nine cars will battle it out in the LMGTE Am category, with class leaders Team Project 1 eager to extend its 25-point advantage over second-placed Spirit of Race.