This Spa victory marks the third consecutive FIA WEC win for the team, after taking wins at Bahrain and Circuit of the Americas earlier in the season. This is also the team’s second win at Spa in as many weeks, after Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque won the four-hour European Le Mans Series race only six days ago.
Phil, Filipe and Paul Di Resta now head into the Le Mans 24 Hours with a 24-point championship lead ahead of their nearest rivals.
Meanwhile, United’s European Le Mans Series and Micheline Le Mans Cup teams now move on to the third round of the season as both series return to Paul Ricard, France for the Le Castellet 240 on 28-29 August.
Filipe Albuquerque lined up on the front row of the LMP2 grid after Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson combined to score United’s second WEC pole position, the team’s third LMP2 pole in a row and their second pole at Spa in as many weeks. Unfortunately, the heavens opened an hour before the start of the race, leading to race control deciding to start the race behind the safety car.
After four laps the safety car came in and racing was underway. Filipe immediately began to drive away from the rest of the LMP2 field as they battled amongst themselves behind him. After 53 minutes, Filipe brought the #22 in for the first pit stop and went back out again, this time on slick tyres. With just over an hour of the race gone, the safety car was called out once again to rescue a stranded GT car. Once racing resumed, Filipe held onto the lead, while coming under severe pressure from the #29 before pitting once again for fuel only. After a battle with the #29 as the rain got heavier, Filipe dropped to second before pitting once again for wets, returning to the track with just over four hours left to run. With two hours and 20 minutes gone, the rain began to fall heavier once again, making driving conditions virtually impossible. Five minutes later the safety car was deployed due to the treacherous conditions. While under safety car conditions, Filipe pitted the car and handed over to Phil Hanson with two hours and 45 minutes of the race gone. As the race reached the half way point, the safety car came in and we were racing again, with Phil now in second place. After a drama-free first stint, Phil pitted for slick tyres and fuel and made his way back out on track again. After dropping to third momentarily, Phil was soon back on the tail of the #36 car, hounding him for second place. With one hour 37 minutes left, Phil took back the lead of the race before pitting to hand the car over to Paul Di Resta. Paul re-joined the track just ahead of the #36 but the momentum was with Thomas Laurent up Eau Rouge. One lap later, Paul reclaimed second place as he passed Laurent into La Source and began to pull away, hunting down the leading car. A few laps later and a huge accident for the #36 brought out the safety car and the pack was bunched up once again. Paul began pulling away once again and caught and passed the leading car before pitting for the final time. He once again reeled in the leader passing them to take the lead and bring the car home for the win.
Source. United Autosports