Webber targets Spa victory

Mark Webber at Silverstone
Mark Webber at Silverstone

Mark Webber heads to the famous Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium this weekend to compete in the second round of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship.

The Aston Clinton-based racer will drive the number 17 Porsche 919-Hybrid in the 6-Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, with team-mates Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley.

The trio are looking to make up for the disappointment of being forced out of the season-opening race at Silverstone earlier in April.

Webber enjoys racing at Spa, having contested many Grands Prix at the track, and he said this week: “Spa is one of the world’s best race circuits. It is a great place to drive, and I am really looking forward to racing there this weekend for Porsche.

“This race is very much a dress rehearsal for the Le Mans 24-Hours. After this event we have the Pre-Test at Le Mans, and then it is the big event itself.

“We need a good result this weekend to kick-start our own championship challenge, as failing to finish at Silverstone was a big blow to us as a trio of drivers.

“We can’t really afford another non-finish if we are going to be able to compete for the title at the end of the season.”

The Spa track is located deep in the Belgian Ardennes region, and the track, that has hosted international motorsport for over 80 years, is famed for its inclement weather conditions. Heavy rain regularly sweeps across the track, leaving conditions mixed for competing racers.

Webber added: “Spa is famous for its weather. One minute sunny, the next pouring rain. Changing weather in an endurance race can make it really difficult for teams, but very exciting for spectators and I think there will be a large crowd watching this weekend.”

Alongside Webber’s Porsche 919-Hybrid, that will compete in the P1 class, there are two further Porsche cars competing. The manufacturers’ number 18 car will be driven by Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb, while the squad’s number 19 will be driven by Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber and Sahara Force India Grand Prix star, Nico Hulkenberg. Further manufacturer P1 entries in the race will include cars from Audi and Toyota.

Free practice for the event starts on Thursday with qualifying on Friday. The 6-Hours of Spa starts at 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon.