For its fifth round, the FIA World Endurance Championship discovers for the first time the Circuit of the Americas located in Austin, Texas. For the TOYOTA Racing team this trip to the United States represents a fascinating challenge to tune the TS030 HYBRID to this very technical track.
Just a few hours after arriving in Austin, the crew of the # 8 took to the track on foot to learn the lay-out. Stéphane Sarrazin is the only one of the three drivers to have ever driven the 5.47 km and 20 turns of the COTA. Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi will be pure rookies and the British driver is impatient to get behind the wheel.
“I have been to Austin before, it was last year for the F1 race, I was doing a commentating work for Sky TV. But it will be the first time I will have to drive there. After today’s track walk, it looks very impressive, even more than it looks on TV! I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to drive on this track tomorrow. It should be a good circuit for us with a lot of technical tight corners. It’s a very interesting track. I feel I can drive quite strong around as well. Hopefully, it could be a good track for me. But generally for our car it should be a very competitive track, maybe the best for the all season so far.”
By Thursday, competitors will be able to take part in the first collective test before the first free practice scheduled on Friday morning. On Saturday, the qualifying session will determine the starting grid and on Sunday, the race will start at 11.00 (local time) for six intense hours.