Christopher haase was unable to repeat his last year’s victory at the 24-hour race of spa-francorchamps (belgium). In the most demanding and probably most fiercely contested GT3 race of the entire season, the audi driver from kirchleus had to settle for fourth place together with his driver colleagues frederic vervisch (belgium) and markus winkelhock.
No fewer than 63 teams were on the grid this year, including the audi R8 LMS
with the number 25 car of audi sport team sainteloc with haase, vervisch and winkelhock. Training sessions and qualifying races went well for the trio, with the sainteloc team consistently placing the audi R8 LMS well ahead of the field. In combined qualifying result was fastest audi at all. Markus winkelhock drove the car to seventh place in the decisive qualifying session, which resulted in sixth place on the grid after a competitor was penalized.
The race itself developed better and better for christopher haase and his teammates as it progressed: "we had a bit of bad luck at the beginning with the yellow and safety car phases, but we didn’t let that irritate us and continued to work with concentration.", reports the 30-year-old.
From midnight on it went better and better. "We were consistently placed between 5 and 10", according to haase. "On sunday morning it finally became apparent that we would have a chance to fight for victory this year as well."
In the end, audi sport team sainteloc risked everything with a clever pit stop-
strategy and a daring fuel calculation might still be able to repeat last year’s victory. "Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out", regrets christopher haase, who was not unhappy about 4th place, however. "Coming here as last year’s winner and fighting for victory again shows that we have done a lot right. Nothing ventured, nothing gained – and next year we’ll definitely be back at it again."
on the first two places were BMW m6s. Victory went to tom blomquist, christan krognes and philipp eng from team walkenhorst motorsport ahead of alexander sims, jens klingmann and nicky catsburg (rowe racing) and kelvin van der linde, sheldon van der linde and jeffrey schmidt in the audi R8 LMS of team montaplast by land motorsport.
Haase, vervisch and winkelhock nevertheless scored a victory in spa-francorchamps, winning the "intercontinental GT challenge" classification.