Second-row start for Toyota Racing in Brazil
TOYOTA Racing will start tomorrow's Six Hours of Sao Paulo from third place after a close qualifying session for the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi drove the #8 TS030 HYBRID in the 25-minute session, with Stéphane Sarrazin watching from the garage. The pair came within 0.277seconds of pole position on their way to a second-row start.
This season's qualifying format requires two drivers from each car to set a minimum of two flying laps each. The grid is decided by the combined average of each driver's fastest two laps.
Sébastien was the first TOYOTA Racing driver on track and he set two lap times before handing over to Anthony.
His session was frustrated by yellow flags at the start of what would have been his third and final flying lap. A red flag for debris on the track then effectively ended the session prematurely, with three minutes on the clock.
Earlier in the day, Anthony and Sébastien were also at the wheel for final practice which, despite a short red flag interruption, ran smoothly and saw the #8 classified second.
TS030 HYBRID #8 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Stéphane Sarrazin)
Free practice 3: 2nd (1min 21.452secs), 29 laps
Qualifying: 3rd (1min 21.580secs average)
Anthony Davidson: "We had a nicely-balanced car again so in terms of ultimate lap time that was the best we could manage. We are a tiny bit off but pole position is never essential the most important thing is we have a good balance for the race. It was a bit frustrating that on my last flying lap I arrived into turn one and saw a yellow flag, so I had to settle for the time I had done previously which I know I could have beaten. But third is where we were today in terms of genuine pace. It's good to be a lot closer than we have been all season we feel we can fight for victory tomorrow."
Sébastien Buemi: "Obviously I'm a little bit disappointed to be just a couple of tenths behind the two Audis but this is how it is. We think we have a good shot in the race tomorrow the car felt good and we have a strong race set-up. I am quite happy with our performance because we didn't do mistakes. We also improved the lap time from this year to last year. It is one second quicker which shows positive progress and we can be quite happy with that. We have to see how the race will go with strategy and traffic but everything is possible."
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About TOYOTA Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship:
TOYOTA first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing which included several editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours. TOYOTA cars have raced in 15 Le Mans 24 Hours races, achieving a best result of second place on four occasions (1992, 1994, 1999 & 2013). TOYOTA entered the revived WEC in 2012, as TOYOTA Racing, with its first hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 HYBRID. After making its debut at Le Mans, the car went on to win three races from pole position in its first season. The TS030 HYBRID chassis, modified for 2013, has been designed and built by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG), where the race team is based. TMG is the former home of TOYOTA's World Rally and Formula 1 works teams, and was responsible for design and operation of TOYOTA's TS020 Le Mans car in 1998-99. TMG now combines works motorsport participation with a new direction as a high-performance engineering services provider to third party companies, as well as the TOYOTA family.
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