With three hours to go at Spa, Toyota is holding strong with a 1-2 atop the classification, after a third safety car period for heavy rain trackside towards the end of the third hour.
The #7 TS050 HYBRID now leads with the race green again just before the halfway mark, after the #8 suffered a loss of power costing the car 40 seconds after it exited the pits following the Safety Car in Hour 3. The two Toyotas also ran a different tyre strategy, with the #8 stopping an extra time to switch back to dry tyres after the brief safety car period for Paul Dalla Lana’s off in the #98 Aston Martin at the start of the second hour.
The #8 Toyota is now second, a lap down, with the #1 Rebellion third, still recovering from its struggles (with tyre pressures) at the start and the team’s gamble on tyres early on. ByKolles’ CLM meanwhile, has faded and now sits eighth overall.
In LMP2 it’s Racing Team Nederland that leads, Giedo van Der Garde managed to snatch the top spot from United after a textbook move at Piff Paff by the Dutchman at the end of Hour 2. On a mission, the Dutchman worked his way to the lead in under three hours from the very back of the field, another astonishing opening stint to add to his ever-growing collection racing with the team.
The move for the lead pushed Filipe Albuqerque and United Autosports down to second. Phil Hanson is now aboard and has been handed the task of taking the fight to Job van Uitert who will be keen to make up for his rough experience in Qualifying.
Third is the Signatech Alpine, which has had a quiet, but strong run thus far. High Class Racing’s ORECA sits a very encouraging fourth after Kenta Yamashita and now Anders Fjordbach’s efforts.
One notable LMP2 entrant has hit trouble thus far in this one, the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA down to eighth and seven laps off the class lead after a right-rear brake issue.
In Pro, it’s still nip and tuck. The #51 AF Corse Ferrari continues to lead, over the #97 Aston Martin which has grown into this race as the conditions have changed. The #92 Porsche is third, ensuring all three marques have a podium spot as it stands.
The #71 sits fourth ahead of the #95 Aston which has had to make an extra stop after Marco Sorensen suffered a puncture going into the Bus Stop halfway through the second hour.
GTE Am meanwhile, is controlled by Matteo Cairoli in the #56 Project 1 Porsche, after an incredible stint from Egidio Perfetti early in the race. Gulf Racing has risen to second after Ben Barker’s heroics. Andrew Watson is in the team’s Porsche currently, just seven seconds off Cairoli. Can Mike Wainwright bring the car home later in the race in a podium position?
Rounding out the top three is Team Project 1’s second Porsche, Felipe Fraga pushing hard to pull away from the #83 AF Corse Ferrarri of Nicklass Nielsen. Another consistent run thus far from the #83 crew.
Further down the order, both Dempsey Proton Porsches have faded. The #88 had a stop-go penalty for dangerous driving and is down to eighth, behind the #77 which has fallen to seventh.