Alonso-Buemi-Nakajima won the 6 Hours of Spa and already caress the world title.
Fernando Alonso , Sebastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima gave an almost definitive blow to the 2018-2019 World Endurance Championship after scoring an epic victory in the 6 Hours of Spain a very complicated race, with changing weather, water, cold, snow … of the most intense and harsh days of recent years, to the point that ended ten minutes before the end by a red flag.He who survived all these problems had a lot of livestock and, against all odds, the survivor was the Toyota # 8 , although in a few moments of the race was really the fastest car. The Spaniard and his teammates bet on the water settings waiting for a flood that arrived, but intermittently and, above all, in the final part of the test. In the dry, on the contrary, # 7 was flying.
The race was soon against # 8, in this case because of Toyota’s mistakes . Both prototypes came out with smooth tires but on the third lap the flood arrived and the two cars entered to take no risks. However, the team had not prepared the tires of Buemi’s car , which gave 17 seconds in that maneuver. Something strange because the threat of rain was crystal clear. Fortunately the appearance of a safety car due to the lack of visibility on the track soon equaled things. The rain had turned into snow and foralmost half an hour the cars were rolling regrouped to take no chances. In that period, the car # 8 ran out of gas and had to enter to refuel with the pit lane closed.
In that circumstance it is only allowed to load gasoline for five seconds, just enough time for the car does not have to leave. In return, you have to re-enter to fill the tank a couple of laps later. It was strange that the # 7 could go three laps more than the # 8, mainly because the two cars had to go to the race loaded to the maximum. Thus, before arriving at the second hour the # 8 already had the ballast of a stop more than the # 7, that is to say, around 50 seconds of deficit. Then it was Alonso’s turn , the second to take the wheel, when the unexpected happened .
For the first time in the whole season one of the two Japanese cars suffered a breakdown . A sensor of the hybrid system of the Toyota # 7 failed and its mechanics needed eleven minutes to repair it. If it had been a terminal fault, the championship was finalized, but the hemorrhage could be contained. Alonso took the lead and gave the car to Nakajima (after only one relay and not two as usual) with five laps of advantage practically at the halfway point of the race. As the Japanese said to MARCA the day before, it was only about surviving and, although in the second half of the race wet and dry conditions alternated, the World Cup leaders did not make any mistakes. Except one, unusual, that was run by Alonso, in the form of a spin without consequences .
Alonso-Buemi-Nakajima win again. It was the Asturian who was in charge of carrying the weight throughout the final part , where the waterspouts and snowforced again to neutralize the test for 30 minutes during the fifth hour and another 25 in the final hour. The Spaniard was redeemed with almost two final hours very complicated but without a single failure that allowed him, as last year, to cross the checkered flag at the wheel of the Toyota # 8.
A Le Mans with all face.
The # 7 car managed to go back up to sixth place saving eight points that, at least, keep him alive for the championship. The final destiny of the title will be decided in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (15 and 16 of June) although all the ballots are for the car of the Spanish that would be champion of the resistance world simply with finishing seventh .Outside of the fight between the Toyota deserves mention the brilliant third place of Stoffel Vandoorne with SMP Racing in its premiere as a resistance driver. The Belgian received the always complicated role of executing the start and did it perfectly even though it was not the simplest circumstances for a debutant .
Information and Image are shared from an Article by Enrique Naranjo, published in Marcas on May 18th, 2019 . Image Credit; EFE, 2019.