A record-breaking crowd of 88,180 spectators gathered for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, setting a new attendance record for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) races, excluding the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The event, however, turned out to be less celebratory for the BMW M Team WRT and BMW M Motorsport teams. During round three of the 2024 season, BMW M Team WRT’s Hypercars, the two BMW M Hybrid V8s, faced a challenging race, finishing in 11th and 13th place after a tumultuous six hours that included a near two-hour pause due to a red flag incident. This disappointing outcome followed their entry into the Hyperpole session with one Hypercar during Friday’s qualifying, mirroring their previous performance at Imola.

Despite high hopes and a strong start from ninth place on the grid by the crew of Robin Frijns, Sheldon van der Linde, and René Rast in car #20, and 12th place by Dries Vanthoor, Marco Wittmann, and Raffaele Marciello in car #15, both teams struggled to advance in the race. While BMW M Team WRT faced setbacks, the race concluded with Hertz Team JOTA securing their first outright victory in the WEC’s Hypercar era, with Will Stevens and Callum Ilott at the helm. The duo outpaced the No. 6 Penske Porsche team and the No. 50 Ferrari, completing a podium of intense competition and high-speed drama.

In the LMGT3 class, the narrative was similarly grim for Team WRT. Despite a promising 1-2 finish at Imola, both BMW M4 GT3s retired prematurely due to incidents beyond their control. Ahmad Al Harthy, sharing the #46 BMW M4 GT3 with Valentino Rossi and Maxime Martin, was forced out of contention after a severe collision caused by a chain reaction. Similarly, the #31 car, piloted by Augusto Farfus, Sean Gelael, and Darren Leung, was also knocked out in an accident after four hours of racing. As repairs to the track barriers ensued, the race was halted, testing the resilience of teams and drivers. Fortunately, both Al Harthy and Gelael were unharmed in the incidents.

The next major test will be the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 15th and 16th where BMW Motorsport will also race their upcoming Art Car.