The season-ending Six Hours of Bahrain did not mean the end of track activities for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, with the team conducting a one-day test today.
LMP1 rookies Sam Bird and Alex Lynn were given a chance to drive the TS040 HYBRID and both familiarised themselves with an LMP1 car, performing impressively.
Sam, 28, joined the test directly after winning the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Drivers, which he secured alongside team-mates Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov with class victory yesterday in Bahrain.
Alex, 22, was also in race action in Bahrain this week, having finished eighth and third in the two GP2 Series races.
Over the two sessions, Sam completed 37 laps with a best of 1min 45.318secs while Alex recorded a quickest lap of 1min 46.025secs from his 38 laps.
We caught up with the pair of them to hear their impressions of the TS040 HYBRID.
Sam Bird: “I am very much enjoying working with the TOYOTA team. It is a very professional environment here. My first impressions of the car are very good; I am enjoying having some power again and it is a very technical car to drive. There are lots of things to think about, especially as this is the first time I have ever experienced the fuel flow restrictions. Getting my head around this aspect is critical to my improvement and adjustment with these cars. So far I am enjoying it very much.”
Alex Lynn: “It has been a pretty cool experience. There are not many drivers in the world who wouldn’t want to drive an LMP1 car so thanks to TOYOTA for this opportunity. These cars are fantastic and the TS040 HYBRID feels as amazing as it looks; there is a lot of grip and a lot of power. Every lap I am learning more about the balance, the brakes and the hybrid system. I have really enjoyed it; it’s been special for me to drive this car.”