TS030 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima)
Kazuki took the wheel of the #7 at 9.50pm and resumed in third on a dry track as darkness fell. After his first pit stop, the car’s ninth in total, a 15-minute safety car interrupted matters. Kazuki kept up the pace in third and, as midnight approached, the fifth safety car of the race slowed the field and brought Kazuki within sight of the #8. Two further stints on the same set of slick tyres followed until Nicolas took over, just after 1am, in third and one lap behind the leader.
Kazuki Nakajima: “The track conditions are quite good; temperatures are getting lower but our tyres are working well. It’s a bit frustrating when we have safety cars because it’s harder to keep a rhythm, which you need to do to keep the temperature in the tyres. In the traffic sometimes you can be lucky and sometimes not, but that’s part of the Le Mans challenge. The car feels pretty good and we have been setting decent lap times. So far it is going all right and we keep pushing.”
TS030 HYBRID #8 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Stéphane Sarrazin)
Sébastien handed second to Stéphane at 9.35pm. The safety car period fell during his second pit stop window which meant the #8 needed to wait before leaving the pit lane until the next safety car passed, costing two-and-a-half minutes. When Stéphane resumed he safely cut through the traffic during his next two stints. He handed the #8 to Anthony during its 13th pit stop with the car holding second, a lap off the lead and half-a-minute ahead of the #7.
Stéphane Sarrazin: “It was a good stint for me so I am happy. We pushed really hard and never gave up. It is a good fight and looks like an interesting race; we keep fighting for the best possible result. Conditions on the track are okay tonight, although visibility is not ideal which makes it tricky when lapping the slower cars. I didn’t take any risks because it’s easy to lose time so it’s better to be safe; there’s still a long way to go.”
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