FIA World Endurance Championship Latest

Hertz Team JOTA takes first Hypercar victory at Spa as Manthey EMA win in LMGT3

Frant-based Hertz Team JOTA took its first Hypercar win in the FIA World Endurance Championship after Callum Ilott took the chequered flag in the #12 Porsche 963 he shared with Will Stevens nearly 12.5 seconds ahead of Kévin Estre in the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport entry.

Completing the podium positions in the Hypercar class was the #50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P driven by Antonio Fuoco in the car he shared with Miguel Molina and Niklas Nielsen.

It was a 1 -2 for Manthey, albeit with two competing teams, in the LMGT3 class with the #91 Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT2 piloted by Yasser Shahin, Morris Schuring and Richard Lietz crossing the line 1.298 seconds ahead of the #92 Manthey PureRxcing Porsche. The #60 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 R of Claudio Schiavoni, Matteo Cressoni and Franck Perera completed the top three.

The six-hour contest got underway in perfect conditions and it was #99 Proton Competition Porsche 963 with Julien Andlauer at the wheel that set the early pace, the French pilot passing the #5 Porsche Penske Motorsport entry driven by Fred Makowiecki in the first 40 minutes. Andlauer then started to pull out an advantage and after the first driver changes had cycled through the #99 car led the #51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P.

There was drama for Neil Jani in the Proton Porsche after an issue with the door-latch mechanism on the #99 car meant that Jani struggled to close the door for several laps.

The Safety Car was called out after an incident at Fagnes resulted in contact between the #38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche driven by Phil Hanson, the #20 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8 with René Rast at the wheel and the #46 Team WRT BMW M4 LM GT3 driven by Ahmad Al Harthy resulted in barrier damage.

When green flag racing resumed, Jani in the #99 Porsche held the lead ahead of James Calado in the #51 Ferrari. Jani was unable to extend a significant advantage and the #5 Porsche driven by Michael Christensen started to put the Ferrari under pressure. Christensen however had an issue at Blanchimont and contact with the barrier meant that the #5 Porsche was out of the race,

Calado passed the #99 Porsche just prior to the team’s third driver change and handed the car over to Alessandro Pier Guidi. At the four hour mark, Antonio Fuoco in the #50 Ferraro passed Jani to make it a Ferrari 1 – 2 at the head of the field.  

It was during the final third of the race that events took a dramatic turn after Earl Bamber in the #2 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R had a huge accident on the Kemmel Straight after contact with the #99 Porsche. Bamber’s car became airborne and ended in the barrier to drivers left along with the #31 BMW of Sean Galael. The race was immediately red-flagged to allow for urgent attention to the two drivers who were thankfully unhurt.

Damage to barriers however was extensive and with the field parked up on the start-finish line it looked as if the race would finish under the red flag. However, Race Control took the welcome decision to resume racing with the remaining race time before the red-flag was shown still to be run.

With at least two laps to be run under the Safety Car at the restart, the #12 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche and the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport entry were at a significant advantage, having stopped for fuel just prior to the stoppage.

After the leading cars had cycled through emergency service followed by pit stops, it was Callum Ilott in the #12 Porsche followed by Kévin Estre in the #9 Porsche who led. Ilott drove a masterful final stint, extending his advantage to over 12 seconds to bring the #12 Porsche home for the Hertz Team JOTA’s first Hypercar victory and the series’ first Hypercar win for a privateer team.


The pole-sitting #85 Iron Dames Lamborghini piloted by Sarah Bovey pulled out an advantage of over 40 seconds over James Cottingham in the #59 United Autosports McLaren. The safety car, however, negated the Iron Dames’ lead while the #46 BMW retired from the race after contact with the #38 Porsche and the #20 BMW.

The #85 Lamborghini piloted by Rahel Frey was fighting hard with Nicholas Costa in the #59 McLaren and passed to retake the lead before losing it again at the pit stops.

As the race passed the four-hour mark Morris Schuring in the Manthey EMA Porshe took the class lead ahead of the #59 McLaren and the #85 Lamborghini.

Following the restart after the lengthy red flag, the race was all down to how fuel strategies played out and as the final laps approached it was a three-car race between the #60 Iron Lynx Lamborghini driven by Franck Perera and the two Manthey-run Porsches driven Richard Lietz and, in the #92 car, Klaus Bachler.

Perera had to pit for fuel as Lietz then found himself second to Bachler. With the #92 car having to save fuel, Lietz was able to pass Bachler at Les Combes to take the race win by just over a second from a car that had been extensively rebuilt after a huge accident in qualifying.

Following the Totalenergies Six Hours of Spa, the Hetz Team JOTA pairing of Callum Ilott and Will Stevens now lie second in the Drivers Championship, 22 points behind André Lotters, Kévin Estre and Laurans Vanthoor.

In the LMGT3 drivers championship, Aliaksander Malykhin, Joel Strum and Klaus Bachler lead the standings by a margin of 35 points over Augustus Farfus, Darren Leung and Sean Gelael.

There is now a four-week gap before the FIA WEC reconvenes for Race Week at The Circuit de la Sarthe for the 92nd running of the 24 Heures du Mans.