SILVERSTONE SLIP-UP FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing suffered a hugely frustrating qualifying for the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the opening round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Unsuitable control settings on the TS050 HYBRID for the conditions left the drivers with no chance to be competitive in the 20-minute qualifying session, which took place on a wet track.
Car set-up proved to be out of the required operating window as Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway, who drive the #6 alongside Kamui Kobayashi, qualified fifth. Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima were sixth in the #5 TS050 HYBRID they share with Sébastien Buemi.
But the gap to the competition told a more complete story, with the two cars respectively 4.996secs and 6.905secs away from pole position.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will urgently seek to address the issues which caused that deficit and aim to compete strongly in tomorrow’s race when the weather is expected to improve.
TS050 HYBRID #5 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima)
Free practice 3: No lap time. 1 lap
Qualifying: 6th (2min 00.109secs average)
Anthony Davidson: “It has been a challenging day weather-wise and that has put us a bit out of synch with the settings of our car, which are very complex. We are running in conditions that we simply haven’t experienced before with the TS050 HYBRID and therefore have run into some problems. We need to go away and learn from days like this; these experiences make us stronger.”
Kazuki Nakajima: “The team made some improvements for my stint but the car was not perfect, so we need to look into the data and find out what went wrong. We need to see how much we still need to improve. The car felt okay to drive and tomorrow should be a dry race so hopefully the situation will be totally different.”
TS050 HYBRID #6 (Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi)
Free practice 3: No lap time. 1 lap
Qualifying: 5th (1min 58.200secs average)
Stéphane Sarrazin: “We made some mistakes in the control systems and we didn’t get the normal performance from the powertrain. We are still learning our new car and these things can happen. It is the first time for us to drive the TS050 HYBRID in such conditions so we need to understand what happened in order to improve for the next time.”
Mike Conway: “I could already feel a problem leaving the pit lane; something wasn’t right. It just felt like we were completely underpowered all the way through the session, due to the settings we chose. I am not sure exactly what went wrong. It’s a different day tomorrow and it looks like being dry so hopefully we can have a good race and battle with the cars ahead of us.”
Free practice 3 results:
No lap times set due to weather.
1st #7 Audi (Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer) 1min 53.204secs
2nd #8 Audi (di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis) +0.104secs
3rd #1 Porsche (Bernhard/Webber/Hartley)+0.946secs
4th #2 Porsche (Dumas/Jani/ Lieb) +1.062secs
#6 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +4.996secs
#5 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +6.905secs
About TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in the World Endurance Championship:
TOYOTA first competed in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing. Since 1985, TOYOTA cars have raced in 17 Le Mans 24 Hours races, achieving a best result of second place on four occasions (1992, 1994, 1999 and 2013). TOYOTA entered the revived WEC in 2012, combining the expertise from TOYOTA Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre, where the hybrid powertrain is developed, with TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH’s support and facilities for chassis development. The multi-national team is based in Cologne, Germany and includes engineers from TOYOTA’s motorsport and hybrid department, who deliver technology and know-how back into road car development. Since 2012, TOYOTA has earned nine pole positions and won 10 races, finishing on the podium a total of 25 times. In 2014, the team won the drivers’ and manufacturers’ World Championships with the TS040 HYBRID while a year later TOYOTA celebrated 30 years since its first Le Mans entry. TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH combines its role in the WEC project with its other activities, such as the supply of a World Rally Championship engine for TOYOTA’s return to the category in 2017, as well as its engineering services business and customer motorsport activities.