4 Hours of SPA 2022 : United Autosports almost unbeatable at Spa

a group of cars driving down a race track
#22 Oreca 07 – Gibson / UNITED AUTOSPORTS / Philip Hanson / Tom Gamble / Duncan Tappy
Last Updated on September 25, 2022

United Autosports continued their dominance at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit as they secured victory at the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The no22 United Autosports Oreca-Gibson, with Duncan Tappy, Phil Hanson, and Tom Gamble, finished nearly 30 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. This is the fourth win for the British team at the Belgian circuit, having previously won in 2018, 2019, and 2020 with Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque.

LMGTE category witnessed history being made as the no57 Kessel Racing Ferrari took the class win ahead of the no83 Iron Lynx Ferrari. Conrad Grunewald and Frederik Schandorff took the top step of the podium with their Danish teammate Mikkel Jensen. Jensen became the first driver to win an ELMS race in all three categories, having previously won the LMP3 title with Eurointernational and the 2021 4 Hours of Portimão in LMP2.

The no13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier-Nissan trio of Charles Crews, Nico Pino, and Guilherme Oliveira took their third win in a row, finishing over a minute ahead of the rest of the LMP3 field. The team now leads the LMP3 championship and will head to Portimão for the next race.

Racing Team Turkey won the LMP2 Pro-Am class for the third time this year, with another 25 points to extend their championship lead. Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood were joined by Will Stevens for the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Stevens beat the no88 AF Corse Oreca of Alessio Rovera by just 0.042s as the two cars went side-by-side across the line.

The race started with damp patches on the track despite the weather being dry. The no28 IDEC Sport Oreca, which was due to start from the front row alongside the pole-sitting no37 Cool Racing Oreca, fell to the back of the field on the formation lap as Paul Lafargue spun in the damp conditions. The race got underway with the no37 Cool Racing Oreca of Niklas Kruetten leading the field through the first corner.

There was trouble in the LMP3 field as three cars collided at Le Combes, but all cars managed to rejoin after a slight delay. At the restart, Duncan Tappy and Ferdinand Habsburg went side by side for second place, but Tappy was forced to go up the escape road at Les Combes, and Habsburg gave back the position to Tappy.

In LMGTE, the battle raged between the no57 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Conrad Grunewald and the no83 Iron Lynx Ferrari of Sarah Bovy. Grunewald went a little wide onto the damp side of the track at Raidillon and the Ferrari went off, spinning across the track and just missing the no83 Ferrari. Sarah Bovy also lost the lead to Ahmad Al Harthy as she tried to avoid the spinning Kessel Racing Ferrari.

a man in a racing suit and helmet talking on a cell phone
#57 Ferrari 488 GTE EVO / KESSEL RACING / Mikkel Jensen

Phil Hanson was pulling out a lead ahead of the no43 Oreca of David Heinemeier-Hansson, but a spin at T1 dropped the Dane down the order and allowing the no22 United Autosports Oreca to open a 20-second lead. Alessio Rovera and Will Stevens were still locked in battle for the LMP2 Pro-Am win with the no34 Racing Team Turkey Oreca on the rear wing of the no88 AF Corse Oreca as they raced towards the Bus Stop Chicane for the final time. Stevens got alongside his Italian rival, and they were side by side through the two corners, with Stevens getting the better run out of the chicane to claim the win by just 0.042s.

In the final hour of the race, Mikkel Jensen closed the gap and took the lead on the run into Les Combes, securing the first win of the season for the no57 Kessel Racing Ferrari, 8.1 seconds ahead of the no83 Iron Lynx Ferrari and a lap ahead of the third-placed no18 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Martin Rump.

CLICK HERE for the result from the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

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