Montaplast by Land Audi continues to lead as #8 Bentley hits major problems at Spa
The #29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi R8 LMS continued to top the order at Spa as the eight-hour mark approached, while its nearest challenger – the #8 Bentley Team M-Sport car – ran into problems and fell off the lead lap.
The Audi stopped much earlier in the pit cycle than its direct rivals, the #8 Bentley and the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW, but this did not diminish its advantage at the head of the field.
Sheldon van der Linde remained aboard the car, having taken over from brother Kelvin, and eventually cycled back to P1 when the Bentley and the BMW made their latest scheduled stops.
The #8 Continental GT3 ran just ahead of the #34 machine, with Maxime Soulet double-stinting for the British squad. Tom Blomqvist was aboard the Walkenhorst entry, having taken over from the impressive Silver-graded driver Christian Krognes.
But last year’s runner-up then hit problems, with Soulet losing significant time and then being pushed into the garage. The #8 remained in the box as the race moved into hour number nine.
That left the #34 BMW in second spot, ahead of the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes, the #98 ROWE Racing BMW, and the #117 KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche.
The #42 Strakka Racing Mercedes continued to lead the Pro-Am category, though it fell off the lead lap of the overall classification between hours six and eight. Nevertheless, Lewis Williamson held a useful class advantage for the British squad.
There was no change in Silver Cup either, with the #12 Ombra Racing Lamborghini remaining in the lead from the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini by 14 seconds.
The #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini topped the Am Cup class, as it did at the six-hour mark, with the #9 Target Racing Lamborghini its closest competitor. Groupe National remained a one-side affair, with the #67 GDL Racing Lamborghini Super Trofeo entry running well clear.
Hours six through eight were remarkably calm, with no full-course yellows during this period and all class leaders remaining unchanged.