New Zealander Brendon Hartley and driving partners Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa have finished second in the 6 Hours of Spa, behind only their Toyota Gazoo Racing teammates Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi.
The #51 Ferrari of Antonio Giovanazzi, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi rounded out the podium, with the #5 Porsche Penske 963 finishing fourth.
Earl Bamber’s Cadillac Racing car, which he shares with Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook, finished fifth in another strong showing in the buildup to Le Mans.
Second for Hartley and the #8 team came off the back of a charging drive from the back of the grid following the Kiwi’s crash in qualifying yesterday.
“It is an amazing result for the whole team and a big recovery job from our car,” said Hartley. “Sébastien made an amazing start in tricky conditions and got through the field cleanly after the team made the right call on tyres. That was a big decision, but it was the right one.
“Car #7 deserved the victory because they had a little more pace than us today, particularly in the middle part of the race. We went in a different direction on set-up; I couldn’t challenge Kamui in the final stint. We were one set of tyres down after what happened in qualifying so we can be very happy to finish second and take these points.”
Hertz Team Jota impressed in their Porsche 963 customer car, which they only received recently, driving to sixth overall ahead of the #93 Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8 and Glickenhaus Racing.
It wasn’t to be for the second of the Ferraris, with the #50 crashing late in the race on cold tyres as he exited pit lane, bringing the field together for a late Safety Car period.
The second Cadillac V-Series.R also crashed out, Renger van der Zande losing control at Eau Rouge in a frightening incident.
Vanwall also spun out of contention, triggering a caution, while the #6 Porsche 963 succumbed to mechanical issues and spent a large portion of the race stranded in pit lane.
In LMP2, there was also success for Kiwi Tom Blomqvist, the Kiwi finishing second in class, sharing his United Autosports Oreca 07 with Oliver Jarvis and Josh Pierson.
Next up: The 24 Hours of Le Mans.