Jota win WEC in Spa 2024

Outsider surprises all factory teams in WEC Spa race after Cadillac crash

11 May at 20:24
  • Ludo van Denderen

An incident-rich and as a result quite protracted 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps - the third race in the World Endurance Championship 2024 - produced a surprising winner. For the first time, a private team - in this case Jota - ran away with the win in the hypercar class. Behind the wheel of the car were Callum Ilott and former F1 driver Will Stevens (ex-Caterham). The race was hugely delayed after a mega-crash involving Earl Bamber's Cadillac.

Never before in the history of the WEC have so many people visited a race in the series, if Le Mans 24 Hours is not included. Over the weekend, 88,180 fans passed through the gates of the circuit in the Belgian Ardennes. They saw a race that will be remembered mainly for some notable crashes as well as its longer duration.

Quick end for Button

Early in the race, the #38 Jota hypercar of Phil Hanson (the car in which Jenson Button was due to drive), was nudged from behind by the Isotta Fraschini. A chain reaction ensued, as the Jota hit Team WRT's GT car #46, which also went into the wall. In this car, former MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi would still be competing. Repair work on the barriers meant that the field drove for more than 45 minutes behind the safety car.

Just over an hour and 45 minutes from the end, a huge crash even caused the race to be stopped. Earl Bamber dived into a gap that wasn't there, hitting WRT's second car (driven by Sean Gael). The contact caused Bamber's Cadillac to go airborne and come to a sharp stop. WRT's GT ended up in the crash barrier, which had to be replaced over a long time.

Masterclass by Ferrari at Spa

At the time of the red flag, Ferrari were firmly in control of the first two spots in the race. The #51 with Alessandro Pier Guidi behind the wheel led, ahead of the #50 Ferrari. The fact this car had moved up to second place was a particularly impressive achievement. In fact, the second Ferrari started from the very last position, having been found to be too light after qualifying. Incidentally, this car was originally supposed to start from pole.

The race was completely stopped for an hour and 45 minutes, while the clock was ticking. With ten minutes left on the clock, Ferrari had already assumed they had the win, but the race organisers decided to extend the race by the length of time the red flag lasted. In the 'extra time' it was soon chaos in the pit lane (after all, no work is allowed on the cars during the red flag) and after this, Jota was suddenly driving in the lead. With good tyre management, Ilott managed to stay ahead of Porsche's works car (with Estre, Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor. In third place was the #50 Ferrari. 

The results of the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps