This weekend, the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps promised to be the scene of a great battle on one of the most demanding circuits in the world. This was the case with an animated race, multiple leaders and finally a first win with the ORECA 07 for United Autosports. This success also marks the 40th victory of the ORECA 07!
Saturday afternoon, United Autosports has confirmed its pace of practice by taking pole position, the first pole of the Team since the beginning of the season. At the wheel of the ORECA 07 #22, Filipe Albuquerque set the fastest time in an authoritarian way. He is ahead of Oreca 07 #23 of Panis Barthez Competition and #30 of Duqueine Engineering. At the end of this fifth qualifying session of the season, five different teams with an ORECA 07 took pole position: United Autosports succeeding G-Drive Racing, Cool Racing, IDEC Sport and DragonSpeed.
Each victim of an accident in the Raidillon in the second free practice, ORECA 07 #28 of IDEC Sport and #31 of Algarve Pro Racing, could not take part in qualifying.
After several hours of hard work by the team mechanics IDEC Sport and Algarve Pro Racing, the 14 ORECA 07 are finally all on the grid Sunday noon and ready to fight!
Best times in all sessions, pole and victory, United Autosports has made a real coup in Belgium. Between two Safety cars and two Full Course Yellow races, however, the race has seen several leaders succeed, starting with the ORECA 07 #30 Duqueine Engineering. If these interruptions have benefited some, they have ruined any hope of victory for others. So in the third hour of racing, it is finally the #39 of Graff Racing who takes the reins of the race. Nevertheless, the trio of Graff Racing is penalized for not having respected the procedure of Full Course Yellow (speeding out of the stands giving rise to a drive-through).
Meanwhile, Paul-Loup Chatin, injured the day before, makes a magnificent comeback at the wheel of the ORECA #28 of IDEC Sport Racing and Nicolas Lapierre takes the advantage on each of his competitors to dominate a time the race.
Handicapped by a flat tire, Filipe Albuquerque must pass him through the pits and come out in ninth place at almost one hour from the end. At the end of the second Full Yellow Course, Filipe enjoyed a good recovery and finally managed to climb to first place followed by ORECA 07 #37 and #39 who are fighting a great battle into the last meters.
A penalty, finally cancelled, will even be inflicted on Antonin Borga for a passing considered rash in the last corner. At the end of the 4 Hours of Spa, the #37 Cool Racing is second followed by the #39 of Graff Racing. The top trio is completed by an ORECA Top 11. In the Championship, G-Drive Racing has 93 points against 80 for IDEC Sport and 71 at Graff. These three Teams have their chance to be titled in the final at Portimao on October 27th.