TOYOTA Racing’s Le Mans 24 Hours – Update 4

Le Mans 24 Hours RaceTS030 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima)
Grid: 5th
As the 14th hour began, Nicolas took the wheel from Kazuki and faced safety car periods on his second and third stints. Rain began to fall during the latter, making track conditions slippery and leading the #7 to take on wet tyres during Nicolas’ third stop. That safety car period lasted an hour, after which Nicolas swapped places twice with the #8 as both cars returned to the lead lap. Track conditions improved and when Nicolas handed the car, and third place, to Alex just before 5am, the team fitted slick tyres. Alex made two stops within two laps due to a slow puncture directly after a refuelling stop, which delayed the #7 by a minute, although he remained in third when he made a routine fourth stop around 8am.

TS030 HYBRID #8 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Stéphane Sarrazin)
Grid: 4th
Just after 1am Stéphane handed the #8 to Anthony, who took advantage of the sixth safety car to switch to new slick tyres on his second pit stop. With rain falling, the #8 changed to intermediate tyres at Anthony’s third and final stop of his stint. Quick front bodywork repairs were also carried out on the front left dive plane while Sébastien replaced Anthony in the cockpit. His first stop saw a change back to slick tyres and he resumed the fight at the front, keeping up a strong pace as the sun rose at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Around 7.30am, after three-and-a-half hours and four stints, Sébastien swapped with Stéphane and the #8 resumed in second.

John Litjens, Project Leader Chassis: “On #7 Nicolas and Alex lapped consistently to maintain the gap to Audi #3. On #8 Anthony and Sébastien did a great job to make sure the Audi #2 did not stretch out a bigger gap. The drivers did really well in very challenging circumstances, with changing track conditions and lots of traffic. The rain very early in the morning meant we had to change off the slicks; one went on wets the other to intermediates. In the end both worked quite okay and as soon as we had an opportunity to go back to slicks we did. We have seen, as we did in the previous days, that we are more competitive against the Audis in damp conditions so we would be quite happy for some rain later in the race.”


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