Phil Hanson doubles up in style at Spa Franchorchamps, ELMS RD5

Phil Hanson won the 4 Hours of Spa Francorchamps for the second consecutive year when the young Briton and co-driver Filipe Albuquerque swept their Oreca to a magnificent victory in Belgium last Sunday (22 Sep).

The race win marked Phil’s first ELMS win victory behind the wheel of the Oreca and the team’s first victory of 2019. He also set the fastest race lap.

Phil lined the #22 Oreca up on pole position after a stunning lap by Albuquerque, posting a time 0.739 seconds faster than the rest of the field, and made a great start. After a double stint, Phil handed the #22 over to Filipe who picked up a puncture after running over another car’s debris causing the #22 crew to stop and change the wheel with just over two hours to go.

As the second safety car was deployed, the #22 crew pitted again for a splash of fuel but as Filipe left the pits, the red light at the end of the pit lane was on, meaning he could not rejoin straight away, and dropped to eighth. With just over an hour remaining, Phil got back in the #22 and rejoined in second place. He closed down a 20second gap to just 5secs in magnificent style before the leader was given a drive through penalty with 15 minutes remaining.

The next race for the team is the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Fuji, Japan on 4-6 October.

Phil reflected: "I’m really happy. It’s a year since our last win here. And it’s funny because we had a DNF at Silverstone last year and then won the next race at Spa, which is the same as has happened this year. We then went on to win at Portimao too, so we are one step to doing the same thing this year.

We had a great weekend. The pole from Filipe, the fastest race lap from me and then the win. And it wasn’t an easy race either, which makes it all the more satisfying. We could control the race from the start but then we had a puncture and the strategy meant that we would be struggling with the fuel but we got really lucky with a safety car and FCY which brought us back on strategy.

I was able to hunt the leader down and was catching him consistently every lap. It looked like it was going to go down to the last lap, but we got lucky with payback from the puncture when the leader got a drive through. We could then just sail home.”


Spa Francorchamps, Belgium

22 September 2019

Phil doubles up at Spa in style
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