This 2024 WEC 6 Hours of Spa was compiled by regular endurance-racing correspondent Dr Nick van der Meulen.

The third round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa Franchorchamps saw a wild, unpredictable race resulting in the first privateer team to win in the Hypercar class. JOTA Porsche 963 #12 (Stevens/Illot) kept the sister works Penske Porsche #6 (Vanthoor/Estre/Lotterer) at bay to take a fine victory. 

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The result could have been quite different, though, as the race was turned on its head when it was red flagged two thirds into the race due to a huge shunt. The circuit required extensive repair and, instead of calling the result, Race Direction opted for a spectacle and added the time under red flag to be added to the race time. As a result, the race finished a good two hours later than anticipated, with the packed grandstands well satisfied, but at least one team disgruntled.

Tough BoP For Champs

The balance of performance put into place for this season, thus far, have not favoured reigning world champions Toyota. Yes, they won last time out at Imola, but that was more due to the driving genius of team leader Kamui Kobayashi and their strategy. It was clear from the first free practice session that they would struggle. Ferrari showed great pace in qualifying and it was #50 (Molina/Fuoco/Nielsen) that took pole position. Unfortunately, they were found to be 1 kilogram underweight and were disqualified. This meant they had to start 19th and last in class.

Inherited Pole

Penske Porsche 963 #5 (Christensen/Campbell/Makowiecki) took over pole position and led the field away at the start. There were no incidents on the first lap, something one would expect with the intricacies of the track layout at Spa. However, the first incident of the race saw JOTA #38 (Hanson/Button/Rasmussen) be spun by another Hypercar (WRT BMW Hypercar #20 of Rast/van der Linde/Frijns) into GT3LM WRT BMW #46 (Al Harthy/Rossi/Martin).

This resulted in both machines clattering into the barrier and out of the race. The early stages of the race saw Porsche #5 battle with Cadillac #2 (Bamber/Lynn/Bourdais) and Proton Porsche #99 (Andlauer/Jani/Tincknell) as race protagonists, but tyre management had a role to play in the race. Ferrari and Toyota began to creep into the mix on the leaderboard by mid-race, before Porsche lost one of their works machines. The #5 machine had a high-speed incident, running Michael Christensen running over the kerb at Blanchimont, causing it to fishtail. He sideswiped the barrier, but the damage to the undertray was too severe to continue.

Racing Horses

The Ferraris had moved into first and second position, with the #51 (Pier Guidi/Calado/Giovinazzi) machine comfortably ahead of their rivals, before disaster struck for Cadillac #2. Earl Bamber was chasing Proton Porsche #99 for third position up the Kemmel straight, both machines having to deal with traffic.

Bamber misjudged the gap while trying to slingshot the Porsche and tagged the GT3LM WRT BMW #31 (Gelael/Farfus/Leung), resulting in the Cadillac careening into the barrier at high speed. Both cars tumbled to the other side of the track at high speed, finally coming to a halt as merely a pile of steel and fiberglass. Miraculously, both drivers walked away from the incident unscathed. Both machines were destroyed, as were a number of safety barriers, which resulted in the red flag.

Protested Win

The time added to the race at the restart upset the Ferrari team immensely, as the race was restarted behind a safety car and destroyed their race strategy. The #50 machine had to pit for emergency fuel, while the #51 machine had to pit soon afterwards. This played into the hands of Porsche, resulting in a 1-2 finish for the marque. Ferrari subsequently appealed the restart, but this was quickly rejected by the powers-that-be. Ferrari had to be content with #50 classified third and #51 fourth, respectively.

Other Places

Proton Porsche #99 finished fifth ahead of Toyota #7 (Kobayashi/Conway/Devries) and Toyota #8 (Buemi/Hartley/Hirakawa), respectively. Kobayashi was penalised 5 seconds post race for tagging the Iron Dames Lamborghini in the closing stages of the race. As a result the Toyotas were swapped in the final classification. The WRT #20 BMW of Sheldon van der Linde/Rast/Frijns finished 13th.


Manthey PureRxing Porsche took a dramatic 1-2 finish in the GT3LM class. The #92 machine (Malykhin/Sturm/Bachler) had to be rebuilt after a massive shunt in Hyperpole. It was feared they would not make the race start. The Iron Dames Lamborghini #85 (Bovy/Frey/Gatting) led from pole position and dominated until the first safety car, following the accident of JOTA #38 and WRT #46. They managed to hold onto the lead at the restart. But a few minor incidents led the to fall away, allowing Manthey PureRxing Porsche #91 (Shahin/Schuring/Lietz) to lead.

There were a number of competitors that joined the lead group at various stages, with the Iron Lynx Lamborghini #60 (Perera/Schiavoni/Cressoni) looking to take victory. Incredibly, Perera had to pit for a “splash and dash” leading into the final lap! This left Porsche #92 in the lead, but it was running out of energy. They had to watch helplessly as teammate #91 surged past to take victory.

Iron Lynx #60 finished third ahead of Iron Dames #85, who also had a late pit stop. They were penalised a place post race, due to contact with #92 earlier. As a result, #59 United Autosport McLaren (Cottingham/Costa/Saucy), a protagonist for most of the race, was classified fourth.


The top ten finishers in each class score points. There are three points-scoring allocation forms, with different allocations for 6-hour, 8-10-hour and 24-hour events, respectively. 

Vanthoor/Estre/Lotterer maintain their Hypercar championship lead with 74 points, ahead of Stevens/Illot with 52 points. Kobayashi/Conway/DeVries lie third with 46 points. Sheldon van de Linde has 10 points and lies 12th in the standings.

In the GT3LM class, Malykhin/Sturm/Bachler lead with 72 points, ahead of Farfus/Leung/Gelael and Roberas/Mancinelli/James, both lineups with 37 points apiece.

The Crown Jewel

The fourth round of the World Endurance Championship takes place in France. The 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on 12-13 June. This event is the jewel in the WEC crown and tickets for the race have been sold out for months. There are no fewer than 300 000 spectators expected to turn up – this fan wishes he could be there! Maybe next year…