The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, race number two of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season, took place over the weekend, and despite a clean 1-2-3 sweep during Qualifying, Porsche lost a first place LMP1 finish to Audi after an exhausting fight.
Two Porsche 919 Hybrids did manage to seize the other podium places, however, with the No. 18 car (Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb) crossing the checkered flag just 13.4 seconds after the No. 7 Audi. Porsche 919 Hybrid No. 17 (Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber) took third.
The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps was perhaps upsetting to Porsche fans despite these two podium finishes, not only because it was the second race of the season wherein Porsche conceded first place to Audi, but also because this race was the inaugural event for Porsche’s third 919 Hybrid race car, which will be run at next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. This third car, wearing the number 19, was driven by Earl Bamber, Formula One driver Nico Hülkenberg, and Nick Tandy. It was involved in a crash early on in the race with a Works Porsche 911 RSR, and only recovered to take a modest sixth place finish.
The folks at Motorsport.com report that the No. 19 Porsche 919 Hybrid was being driven by Nick Tandy at the time of the crash at the 2015 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. They quote Tandy with the following post-race recap:
“The accident with the Porsche 911 RSR early in the race was a misunderstanding. I obviously thought he would let me by and he clearly didn’t expect me to overtake. Then we had a technical [damper] problem with the car, which caused me to miss the pit lane entry and we lost more time. Of course, I’m not happy with how things went, but the car was great to drive and the tyres were holding up better than expected. Thanks to the team for a great job.”