66FGT a.a. 17.05.04

FIA World Endurance Championship – 6 Hours Of Spa-Francorchamps – Preview (04.05.17)

Photo: FIAWEC.com

After a thrilling opening to the 2017 season at Silverstone, the FIA Word Endurance Championship moves to its traditional pre-Le Mans round with the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

After victory in the opening round, Toyota Gazoo Racing has entered three cars for Spa-Francorchamps. The third entry, the #9 Toyota TS050-Hybrid, will be piloted by Stéphane Sarazin, Yuji Kunimoto and Nicolas Lapierre.

In the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry, doubt remains over the ability of Jose Maria Lopez to drive after his heavy impact at Silverstone. At the time of writing, no decision had been made as to how the team might proceed if Lopez is unfit.

In the LMP2 field, Signatech Alpine Matmut has entered a second car for Spa-Francorchamps. The #35 Alpine A470 will be driven by Pierre Ragues, André Negrão and Nelson Pantiatici. Romain Dumas is deputising for Nicolas Lapierre in the #36 Signatech entry, driving alongside Gustavo Menezes and Matt Rao.

New to the entry list for Spq-Francorchamps is the #34 Tockwith Motorsports Ligier JSP 217. Regular drivers for the York-based team, Nigel Moore and Philip Hanson, will be joined in Belgium by Karun Chandhok.

Matthieu Vaxivière, injured in a training accident, will be substituted in the #28 TDS Racing ORECA 07 for Spa by Ben Hanley, full-season driver with DragonSpeed in the European Le Mans Series.

The GTE classes see no changes to the entry list that contested the 6 Hours of Silverstone entry list.

With three different manufacturers on the podium in Round 1 at Silverstone, 2017 looks to be a highly competitive in the premier LMGTE Pro category. Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK will go to Spa full of confidence after victory in the UK. However the #66 crew will feel they have something to prove after a disappointing end to the race at Silverstone and an eventual fourth place.

With the race on Saturday May 6, qualifying for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps takes place on Friday May 5 with the 25-minutes qualifying session for the LMGTE pro and Am classes starting at 14:50 local time and the two prototype categories qualifying at 15:25.

The lights go out for the start of the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps at 14:30 local time on Saturday May 6.