Sébastien Buemi in great form during the 6h of Spa-Francorchamps
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing won an exciting one-two victory in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps after a spectacular third round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Belgium.
The car #8 started the race from the back of the grid after an accident in the opening seconds of the qualifying.
A remarkable fightback from a back-row start saw Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa, in the #8 GR010 HYBRID, earn an unexpected second place. They now lead the drivers’ World Championship by five points over the #7 crew.
Multiple incidents, changing weather and close battles throughout the 37-car field entertained a 73,000-strong crowd as a record 13 Hypercars fought for supremacy around the spectacular 7.004km Spa circuit, located just 120km from the team’s base in Cologne, Germany.
That set up a grandstand finish between the GR010 HYBRIDs with little separating the pair in the closing stages.
Its seventh consecutive Spa victory means TOYOTA GAZOO Racing takes a 30-point World Championship lead over Ferrari into the centenary edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours on 10-11 June, the mid-point in the seven-race season.
“Second place is a great recovery drive. Starting 36th on the grid and coming back to second place, after actually fighting for the win, is a real achievement. The win for car #7 makes it a perfect day and I am really happy for the team. It was an eventful race, particularly at the beginning with the rain, but I tried to stay out of trouble and just continue to move up the field. This is a good preparation for Le Mans; now we can get ready for June.” Sébastien Buemi
The WEC season resumes in just over a month, with the centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 10 and 11 June.