Peugeot triumph at Spa-Francorchamps
Pole position on Saturday and more: after posting the best time in qualifying, Peugeot went on to win the second race of the 2010 Le Mans Series. At the Belgian circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, it was once again the number nine Peugeot 908 that blew away the opposition. After 139 laps and five pit stops, the trio of Sébastien Bourdais, Pedro Lamy and Simon Pagenaud claimed victory.
The final stage of the race could not have been more thrilling. The 7km stretch of tarmac in the Ardennes forest gradually dried out, which meant that the competitors could at last switch to slick tyres. Shortly before the finish line, there was excitement behind the victorious Peugeot as Stephane Sarrazin, who had been reducing the gap on Tom Kristensen in his Audi R15 lap by lap, eventually overtook the Dane.
With this passing manoeuvre right at the end, Sarrazin (co-drivers Franck Montagny and Nicolas Minassian) made it a one-two finish for Peugeot. Audi eventually had to settle for third and fifth.
In the smaller LMP2 class, the Ginetta-Zytek of the ASM team driven by Miguel Amaral and Olivier Pla took the honours. They won their class with a lead of one minute over the Lola of Andy Wallace, Tommy Erdos and Mike Newton. In the overall standings, the two teams took sixth and seventh.
The result was much more decisive in the hardtop GT class, with Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz putting in a faultless race to claim victory in the GT2 class; the weather conditions played a part in helping their Felbermayr Porsche to perform better than the best-placed of the supposedly superior GT1 category.
The GT1 victory went to the Ford GT of VDS Racing, with local hero Bas Leinders leading his outfit and the other two drivers Markus Palttala and Eric De Donker to success. They were not given an easy ride, however, as all the other GT1 entrants stayed together on the same lap.
Former F1 stars Giancarlo Fisichella and Jean Alesi in their Ferrari F430 GT also had every reason to feel pleased with themselves, taking third place in the GT2 class, though by the narrowest of margins – just half a second ahead of Andy Priaulx, Dirk Müller and Augusto Farfus in their BMW M3.