At least three teams will have a long night ahead, following the first day of the FIA World Endurance Championship 2021 Prologue at Spa Francorchamps.
TF Sport is hit the most, since they run both their own #33 but also the D’Station Racing #777, which both had huge accidents at the famous Raidillion corner. Just like IDEC Sport at Le Mans 2020, both accidents happened within half an hour of each other.
Thankfully, both Ben Keating and Satoshi Hoshino were able to leave the cars without help, both Aston Martin racers were heavily damaged. The team is assessing the damage, and checking if they need to bring any spare cars to Belgium.
JOTA #28 is going to build a new car. Sean Gelael crashed early in the afternoon session, which gave the ORECA 07 tub so much damage, that the team has to go to a spare tub. They are the team with the most ORECA 07 in-house, so they have plenty of spares before they need to pay a visit to the ORECA spare parts truck.
Team Project1 Porsche #46 also crashed during the afternoon session. Norwegian racer Anders Buchardt hit the tire barrier quite hard, so they were not able to make it back on track. The car was by far the “prettiest” of the four, but there could be some hidden damage somewhere deeper inside the chassis.
Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 was the fastest of the new Hypercar category during the morning session, while Alpine Elf Matmut #36 was quickest during the afternoon session. United Autosports USA #22 were fastest in both sessions in the LMP2 category, Porsche #92 in GTE Pro in both sessions, while Cetilar Racing Ferrari #47 was the quickest GTE Am car in the morning sessions, and Team Project1 Porsche #56 during the afternoon.
But don’t count too much on the practice times. A lot of people were stunned, that the Hypercar category actually ran slower laptimes than the fastest LMP2 today. But there are a number of different programmes that you can run, with different amounts of fuel – not to mention the potential of playing with laptimes by certain cars, which had some very strange gearshift patterns…
The Prologue will continue tomorrow with just under 6 hours of running, as long as the teams avoid too many red flags, which cost almost an hour of today’s running, which was planned to be just shy of 6 hours as well.