Toyota Gazoo Racing took their first 1-2 since Shanghai 2014 when Sebastien Buemi took the chequered flag to claim the second win of the year for the no8 Toyota TS050 and teammates Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima.
The Swiss driver came under pressure in the final few minutes of the six hour race from Kamui Kobayashi in the no7 Toyota as the Japanese driver closed the gap and looked set to pounce on the final couple of laps. However traffic played its part and Buemi was able to hang on to take the win by less than two seconds.
The two Porsche 919s were third and fourth with the no2 car of Brendon Hartley securing the final podium position in the last race before the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Kiwi was leading with less than 15 minutes remaining on the clock but had to pit for a splash and dash fuel stop, which dropped him back to third, with Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber joining him on the podium.
The double win for Buemi, Davidson and Nakajima has extended their lead to 17 points ahead of Hartley, Bamber and Bernhard. Toyota move ahead of Porsche in the Manufacturers Championship with 69.5 points to 61.
The LMGTE Pro battle saw victory for Ferrari as the Pancing Horse took the top two places on the podium after dominating the race. Sam Bird crossed the line to take the first win of 2017 in the no71 F488 and stood on the podium alongside Davide Rigon. Bird has a close battle with Alessandro Pier Guidi in the no51 Ferrari, in fact it was a little too close earlier in the race when there was contact between the two cars but both were able to continue.
The two Ford GTs were able to challenge their Italian rivals early on in the race but the no67 Ford of Harry Tincknell suffered a fuel feed issue which left the English driver stranded at Eau Rouge for several minutes. The Silverstone race winner was able to reset the car and return to the track, eventually finishing fourth behind the no66 Ford GT of Olivier Pla, Billy Johnson and Stefan Mucke, who stood on the third step of the podium.
Fourth place for Harry Tincknell, Andy Priaulx and Pipo Derani was enough to keep them at the top of the Driver’s Championship on 38 points, two more than Sam Bird and Davide Rigon, while Ferrari move ahead of Ford in the Manufacturers title race.
In LMP2 the hard fought victory went to the pole sitting G-Drive Racing crew of Alex Lynn, Roman Rusinov and Pierre Thiriet. The 53 second gap at the chequered flag belied the fact that victory was far from easy with a strong challenge from the second placed no31 Vaillente Rebellion Oreca-Gibson of Bruno Senna, Nico Prost and Julien Canal, the French / Brazilian crew enjoying their second second place finish in a row. Silverstone race winners Ho_Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent finished third to remain at the top of the points table after two race by just three points to the G-Drive Racing crew.
In LMGTE Am the no98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage took victory from pole position with Mathias Lauda, Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy securing their third victory in a row at Spa. At the flag the Aston Martin was 31 seconds ahead of the no77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche of Marvin Dienst, Christian Ried and Matteo Cairoli and over a lap ahead of Silverstone race winners Matt Griffin, Keita Sawa and Weng Sun Mok in the no61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari.
Victory for the Aston Martin crew moves them to the top of the points table, five points ahead of Clearwater Racing trio.
The next race in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship is the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the 17/18 June. The world’s greatest endurance race is one of the toughest challenges in the world of motor sport and carries double championship points, making it vitally important to the title aspirations of the teams and drivers.
CLICK HERE for the provisional result from Round 2 of the FIA World Endurance Championship