Audi triumphs at Spa

In one of the most thrilling editions of the 24 Hours of Spa Audi has clinched its fourth victory in the world’s biggest GT3 endurance race.  After 3,824 kilometres Jules Gounon/Christopher Haase/Markus Winkelhock had an 11.862-second advantage. Four marques were in contention until the end.  
Convincing performance

Audi Sport Team Saintéloc in its first factory-backed commitment with Audi Sport customer racing shone with a convincing performance. In the world’s toughest GT3 race the #25 Audi R8 LMS was running impeccably, having stayed clear of all trouble and ending the race without any penalties. In the penultimate hour of the race, Christopher Haase was chasing Italian Raffaele Marciello in front of him on several laps until Marciello pitted. Following his own final service and the stops of his rivals, the 29-year-old Audi Sport campaigner took the lead and went on to celebrate his first victory at Spa. For Jules Gounon, this success marked the first one clinched in this race as well. Markus Winkelhock has previously won the iconic event in the Ardennes with Audi in 2014. In addition, this was the second 24-hour race victory claimed by the 37-year-old professional race driver this season following his success at the Nürburgring in May.

Four Audi in top 10

Included in the favorites were two other teams relying on the Audi R8 LMS. Audi Sport Team WRT was leading on home soil with three different driver squads some of the time. Three hours into the race, car number 5 with Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Dries Vanthoor was the front runner, but on Saturday night a damaged brake pad forced the squad to make an unscheduled pit stop. From position 45, the trio battled its way back to position eleven. After nine hours, car #2 with Christopher Mies/Connor De Phillippi/Frédéric Vervisch was running in front. However, time lost during a pit stop and an unfortunate position during a safety car period caused the driver trio to lose ground, ultimately clinching fifth place. They were trailed by Antonio García/Nico Müller/René Rast in the number 1 sister car. In the end, even a fourth Audi R8 LMS was in the top ten. Audi Sport Team I.S.R. with Pierre Kaffer/Kelvin van der Linde/Frank Stippler took ninth place. Fourth place in the AM classification was clinched by Fred Bouvy/Christian Kelders/Marc Rostan in another R8 LMS of Saintéloc Racing.

The race in numbers

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24h Spa