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ILMC LMS 1000km of Spa-Franchorchamps // The endurance championship continues in Belgium

Published by Pat W

Good afternoon and welcome to the wonderful Spa-Franchorchamps.

This race is the last long race before the 24 Heures du Mans next month and as such both Audi and Peugeot have brought their full fleet of new cars. The Peugeot 908 has already raced this year of course, but the much-tested Audi R18 has not. Yet it is the Audi which has been the faster all weekend as Peugeot claim they are running a Le Mans downforce spec which may be compromising them here.

Qualifying

As an endurance race of 1000 kilometres, which should last about 5 and a half hours, qualifying is more about bragging rights at the head of the field and Audi have claimed a 1-2-3. ORECA's Peugeot 908 HDI FAP - also known as 'the old Peugeot' - starts 4th. The factory Peugeot team's error in running late in qualifying cost them dearly as traffic followed by a red flag spoiled their session: they start 13th, 18th and... 50th. Even so, with all the GT and FLM cars they should all be in the top 20 or so within 5 or 6 laps.

Class top fives in qualifying:

LMP1: Audi, Audi, Audi, ORECA Peugeot, Rebellion Lola;

LMP2: Strakka HPD, TDS ORECA, Signatech Nissan, Boutsen ORECA, Greaves Zytek;

FLM: Garner, Hope, JMB, Genoa, Pegasus;

GTE Pro: AF Corse Ferrari, JMW Ferrari, AF Corse Ferrari, Felbermayr-Proton Porsche, BMW;

GTE Am: IMSA Peformance Porsche, AF Corse Ferrari, CRS Ferrari, Gulf Aston Martin, Kessel Ferrari;

Sadly some accidents in practice and qualifying have ruled out RML, OAK and possibly a Rebellion? Happily everyone seems okay from the various incidents, only vehicles and pride got damaged.

Coverage

The race is live on Eurosport and the Eurosport Player (in Europe only). If you don't have either of those, try this (thanks Twitter people).

Live timing is here.

The race starts at 2.05pm CET, that's 1.05pm BST (GMT+1).

Predictions

This is what I think:

  • Audi will be very fast but one of the cars doesn't have a strong driver line-up.
  • Peugeot will come through the field and will score a podium.
  • Watch the ORECA Peugeot, it'll still be there at the end and their car is proven.
  • There are 54 cars, about the same as Le Mans, on a circuit half the length. Traffic will be crucial for every car in every class.
  • LMP2 will suffer the usual reliability problems, there's no way to pick a winner.
  • GTE Pro should be a fantastic battle between the Ferraris of AF Corse and JMW, with the BMWs getting in the mix and maybe a Porsche or two.

Your thoughts?




Good afternoon and welcome to the wonderful Spa-Franchorchamps. This race is the last long race before the 24 Heures du Mans next month and as such both Audi and Peugeot have brought their full fleet of new cars. The Peugeot 908 has already raced this year of course, but the much-tested Audi R18 has not. Yet it is the Audi which has been the faster all weekend as Peugeot claim they are running a Le Mans downforce spec which may be compromising them here.

Event start

13:05GMT +01:00

7 May 2011