Peugeot wins Spa 1000km

Peugeot warmed up for the Le Mans 24 Hours in the best way possible by winning the Spa 1000km for a fifth successive year

Peugeot wins Spa 1000km

After starting 13th on the grid after problems in qualifying, Alex Wurz carved his way into the lead before the end of the first stint to give his co-drivers Anthony Davidson and Marc Gene a comfortable afternoon's work.

Both the winning car and the second-placed machine of Stephane Sarrazin/Franck Montagny/Nicolas Minassian, ran faultlessly throughout the race and finished 42 seconds apart.

Peugeot was on course for a podium lock-out when Pedro Lamy got his car beached in the gravel at Rivage and then co-driver Simon Pagenaud suffered a front suspension collapse with 45 minutes remaining. He made it back to the pits, but the repairs dropped him to eighth by the flag.

Allan McNish/Rinaldo Capello/Tom Kristensen were the best of the Audi crews in third, but the German manufacturer's problems continued into the second half of the race.

Kristensen had closed to around 20s behind Minassian in the battle for second, only to make contact with the LMP2 TDS ORECA at the start of the final hour, inflicting a puncture and bodywork damage to the Dane's R18 TDI.

The remaining works Audis rounded out the top five; Marcel Fassler stopping the car he shared with early leader Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer at the entrance to the pits ahead of the penultimate stop.

Sixth went to the best of the petrol-powered cars, the Pescarolo of Christophe Tinseau/Emmauel Collard/Julien Jousse, which edged out the Rebellion Lola of Neel Jani/Nicolas Prost.

Victory in LMP2 went to the TDS ORECA of Mathias Beche/Pierre Thiriet/Jody Firth by under a minute from the similar Boutsen Energy car of Dominik Kraihamer/Nicolas de Crem.

After losing a lap in the pits when the safety car came out during the second hour, Strakka HPD driver Jonny Kane closed to under 10s behind the Boutsen car with a lap to go, but slowed to a crawl out of the Bus Stop chicane on the final lap. He did, however, hold onto third in class.

Giancarlo Fisichella recovered from a penalty for exceeding the track limits to take victory in the GT2 Pro class with his AF Corse Ferrari co-driver Gimmi Bruni.

Dominik Farnbacher/Allan Simonsen made it a one-two for Ferrari in their Farnbacher-run car, both Italian machines making it to the end on only four fuel stops each.

Andy Priaulx/Uwe Alzen were third for BMW while the second AF car of Toni Vilander/Jaime Melo lost its hopes of victory with a drive-through penalty for passing under yellow flags, and then a collision with the Larbre Corvette.

JMW was not a factor either as Rob Bell's innocuous-looking nudge of the Les Combes tyres caused damage to the front bodywork and radiator and necessitated lengthy repairs in the pits.

IMSA Porsche duo Nicolas Armindo/Raymond Narac recovered from an early spin into the gravel to pass the CRS Ferrari of Adam Christodoulou/Klaas Hummel/Phil Quaife at the start of the final hour. Hummel later lost a podium finish after making contact with an LMP2 car with five minutes remaining.

Victory in the Formula Le Mans class went to Hope Racing trio Luca Moro/Zhang Shan-Qi/Nicolas Marroc that led virtually the whole race.

Results - 161 laps: Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. LMP1 Gene/Wurz/Davidson Peugeot 908 6h02m03.799s 2. LMP1 Montagny/Sarrazin/Minassian Peugeot 908 + 42.965s 3. LMP1 Capello/Kristensen/McNish Audi R18 TDI  + 1 lap 4. LMP1 Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller Audi R18 TDI + 2 laps 5. LMP1 Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer Audi R18 TDI + 3 laps 6. LMP1 Collard/Tinseau/Jousse Pescarolo-Judd + 5 laps 7. LMP1 Jani/Prost Rebellion Lola-Toyota + 5 laps 8. LMP1 Lamy/Bourdais/Pagenaud Peugeot 908 + 6 laps 9. LMP1 Belicchi/Boullion Rebellion Lola-Toyota + 6 laps 10. LMP1 Lapierre/Duval/Panis ORECA Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP + 9 laps 11. LMP2 Beche/Thiriet/Firth TDS ORECA-Nissan + 11 laps 12. LMP2 Kraihamer/De Crem Boutsen Energy ORECA-Nissan + 11 laps 13. LMP2 Leventis/Watts/Kane Strakka HPD ARX-01d + 11 laps 14. LMP2 Gates/Garofall/Phillips RLR MG Lola-Judd + 14 laps 15. LMP2 Mailleux/Ordoñez/Ayari Signatech ORECA-Nissan + 15 laps 16. FLM Moro/Zhang/Marroc Hope ORECA + 17 laps 17. GTE P Fisichella/Bruni AF Corse Ferrari + 17 laps 18. GTE P Farnbacher/Simonsen Hankook Ferrari + 17 laps 19. GTE P Priaulx/Alzen BMW M3 + 17 laps 20. FLM Schultis/Simon/Schell Pegasus ORECA + 17 laps 21. GTE P Farfus/Muller BMW M3 + 18 laps 22. GTE P Dolan/Hancock Jota Aston Martin + 20 laps 23. GTE P Goossens/Holzer Prospeed Porsche + 20 laps 24. FLM Julian/Zugel/Petersen Genoa ORECA + 20 laps 25. GTE A Armindo/Narac IMSA Performance Porsche + 21 laps 26. GTE A Perazzini/Cioci/Lemeret AF Corse Ferrari + 21 laps 27. GTE A Bornhauser/Canal/Gardel Larbre Corvette + 22 laps 28. GTE A Ried/Hommerson Proton Porsche + 22 laps 29. GTE A Felbermayr Jr./Miller Felbermayr-Proton Porsche + 24 laps 30. GTE A Ehret/Lynn/Wills CRS Ferrari + 24 laps 31. GTE A Broniszewski/Peter Kessel Ferrari + 26 laps 32. GTE A Krohn/Jonsson Krohn Ferrari + 27 laps 33. LMP2 Barlesi/Da Rocha/Lafargue Oak Pescarolo-Judd + 27 laps 34. GTE P Bell/Walker JMW Ferrari + 29 laps 35. LMP2 Frey/Meichtry/Rostan Race Performance ORECA-Judd + 29 laps 36. GTE P Lieb/Lietz Felbermayr-Proton Porsche + 32 laps 37. FLM Hartshorne/Keating/Keen Neil Garner ORECA + 36 laps 38. LMP2 Ojjeh/Chalandon/Kimber-Smith Greaves Zytek-Nissan + 38 laps 39. LMP2 Rosier/Luco/Basso Extreme Limite Norma-Judd + 39 laps 40. LMP1 Cortes/Geri/Piccini MIK Corse Zytek + 41 laps 41. GTE P Rich/Slingerland Jetalliance Lotus Evora + 42 laps 42. FLM Rodrigues/Menahem/Lombard JMB ORECA + 44 laps Retirements: GTE P Melo/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 137 laps GTE A Hummel/Christodoulou/Quaife CRS Ferrari 137 laps GTE A Giroix/Goethe/Wainwright Gulf Aston Martin 108 laps LMP1 Amaral/Pla Quifel-ASM Zytek 106 laps GTE A Kauffman/Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 105 laps GTE P Ortelli/Makowiecki Luxury Ferrari 64 laps LMP2 Perez-Companc/Russo/Kaffer Pecom Lola-Judd 60 laps LMP2 Tucker/Bouchut/Barbosa Level 5 Lola Coupe-HPD 59 laps GTE P Hirschi/Rossiter/Mowlem Jetalliance Lotus Evora 21 laps GTE P Pilet/Henzler IMSA Performance Porsche 16 laps GTE P Beltoise/Jakubowski/Deletraz Luxury Ferrari 4 laps 
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