Fernando Alonso claimed his first FIA World Endurance Championship victory in his debut race at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday.

The Spaniard, driving alongside Toyota teammates Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, won from pole position after dramatically being promoted post-qualifying from second to the front of the grid when its sister car was found to have breached the regulations.

The #8 Toyota lead from the front for the majority of the race where the 6-hour event saw three Safety Car interventions. Trouble on Lap 1 saw three GT Ferraris ferociously battle for early track position sending the GTE-Am Class #86 Porsche into the barriers at the Les Combes chicane.

Meanwhile, Harry Tincknell crashed heavily during his stint in the #67 Ford GT entry at Eau Rouge, going head first into the tyres on driver’s left.

Towards the closing stages of the race, the #17 LMP1 car of Russian Matevos Isaakyan also had a heavy shunt, this time at Raidillon, bringing out the Safety Car for the final time.

Alonso took to the wheel for the first time during the first Safety Car period before getting the honours to drive the car home in the final hour of racing. It is the 36-year old’s first FIA-sanctioned win since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix and his last win at Spa-Francorchamps since his Formula 3000 days way back in 2000.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso - 2018 FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

The #8 Toyota Racing entry had an untroubled lights-to-flag run to victory after its sister car was forced to start from the pit lane.

In the LMP2 race, Giedo van der Garde in his Team Netherlands entry took an early lead but was forced to retire with an electrical issue. That meant the invitational entry of former Toro Rosso talent Jean-Éric Vergne, Roman Rusinov and Andrea Pizzitola in the #27 G-Drive took control of the race taking home the chequered flag. However, the second-placed Jackie Chan DC Racing machine took full points as the best-placed full-season competitor.

Wheel-to-wheel action at Eau Rouge was seen in the GTE-Pro category where the deciding move was put on by the #66 Chip Ganassi Ford GT on the final lap of the 6 hours to steal victory from the #92 Porsche GT Team.

The winning #98 Aston Martin Racing car, featuring Niki Lauda’s son Mathias, was too good for the #90 TF Sport entry in GTE-Am, also an Aston Martin machine.

2016 FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – Final Classification
Pos. # Team / Entry Class Drivers Laps
1. 8 Toyota Racing TS050 Hybrid LMP1 F. Alonso / S. Buemi / K. Nakajima 163
2. 7 Toyota Racing TS050 Hybrid LMP1 M. Conway / K. Kobayashi / J.M. López 163
3. 3 Rebellion Racing R13 LMP1 M. Beche / T. Laurent / G. Menezes 161
4. 4 ByKolles Racing ENSO CLM P1 LMP1 O. Webb / D. Kraihamer / T. Dillmann 158
5. 11 SMP Racing BR Engineering LMP1 M. Aleshin / V. Petrov 158
6. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 LMP2 R. Rusinov / J. Vergne / A. Pizzitola 156
7. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 LMP2 H. Tung / G. Aubry / S. Richelmi 156
8. 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut A470 LMP2 N. Lapierre / A. Negrão / P. Thiriet 156
9. 13 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 LMP2 J. Jafaar / W. Tan / N. Jeffri 155
10. 28 TDS Racing Oreca 07 LMP2 F. Perrodo / M. Vaxivière / L. Duval 155
11. 31 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 LMP2 R. González / P. Maldonado / N. Berthon 155
12. 50 Larbre Competition LMP2 E. Creed / R. Ricci / J. Canal 152
13. 66 Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT GTE Pro S. Mücke / O. Pla / B. Johnson 148
14. 92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR GTE Pro M. Christensen / K. Estre 148
15. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE GTE Pro D. Rigon / S. Bird 147
16. 91 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR GTE Pro R. Lietz / G. Bruni 147
17. 82 BMW Team MTEK M8 GTE GTE Pro T. Blomqvist / A. Félix da Costa 146
18. 97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE Pro A. Lynn / M. Martin / J. Adam 146
19. 95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE Pro M. Sørenson / N. Thiim / D. Turner 146
20. 81 BMW Team MTEK M8 GTE GTE Pro M. Tomczyk / N. Catsburg 145
21. 98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE GTE Am P. Dalla Lana / P. Lamy / M. Lauda 144
22. 90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE GTE Am S. Yoluç / E. Alers-Hankey / C. Eatswood 144
23. 61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari F88 GTE GTE Am W. Mok / K. Sawa / M. Griffin 143
24. 77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR GTE Am C. Reid / J. Andlauer / M. Campbell 142
26. 88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR GTE Am K. Al-Qubaisi / G. Roda / M. Cairolo 141
27. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo GTE Pro A. Pier Guidi / J. Calado 139
28. 29 Team Nederland Dallara P217 LMP2 F. van Eerd / G. vd Garde / J. Lammers 139
29. 86 Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR GTE Am M. Wainwright / B. Barker / A. Davison 137
30. 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE GTE Am T. Flohr / F. Castellacci / G. Fisichella 136
31. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR GTE Am J. Bergmeister / P. Lindsey / E. Perfetti 131
Pos. # Not Classified Class Drivers Laps
DQ. 1 Rebellion Racing R13 LMP1 N. Jani / A. Lotterer / B. Senna 161
DNF. 17 MR Racing Ferrari 488 GTE LMP1 S. Sarrazin / E. Orudzhev / M. Isaakyan 132
DNF. 67 Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT GTE Pro A. Priaulx / H. Ticknell / T. Kanaan 26
DNS. 10 DragonSpeed BE Engineering LMP1 B. Hanley / H. Hedman / P. Fittipaldi
WD. 5 CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60 LMP1 C. Stoneman / D. Stoneman
WD. 6 CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60 LMP1 O. Rowland / A. Brundle / O. Turvey

Images via JEP / LAT

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Luke McCullough

Melbourne Based - 17 Grand Prix attendances and counting in Australia, Singapore, Canada, France, Austria and Great Britain.