TOYOTA Racing: Le Mans 24 hours update 5
TS030 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima)
Alex resumed his stint at 8am in third and soon found progress delayed by two safety cars in quick succession. An hour later, with 262 laps in the book, Kazuki jumped into the #7 to defend third place, with his nearest challengers on the same lap. His first stint included an unplanned stop when sensors indicated a slow left rear puncture so the tyre was changed. Soon after, a short shower briefly made track conditions difficult but Kazuki stayed on slicks while a heavy accident down the field created a long safety car period, the 10th of the race. The rain returned on his second stint and caught Kazuki out, with 20 seconds lost when the car spun across the kerbs at an unexpectedly-wet Dunlop Curve.
Alex Wurz: "I am happy after my stint, which was nearly four hours long. When you are in the car for such a long time it does get tiring at some point but I have trained well for this. At the beginning it was very tricky to drive with the slicks in the wet but then I found my rhythm. I encountered a few small issues and of course there were a few safety car phases. The grip wasn't perfect so it was difficult to squeeze the lap times out of the car but that's the way it is here sometimes."
TS030 HYBRID #8 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Stéphane Sarrazin)
Stéphane moved one lap ahead of the third-placed #7 in his first stint before his pit stop window fell within a safety car period. As happened yesterday evening, Stéphane had to wait in the pit lane to join a safety car queue, losing time and dropping the #8 off the lead lap. Like its sister car, the #8 stayed on slick tyres throughout the morning shower as Stéphane kept the pressure on the leading car. With nearly four continuous hours behind the wheel, he handed second place to Anthony just before 11.30am.
Stéphane Sarrazin: "Everything was fine so far, so good. The stint was very long for me because of the long safety car. We stayed on track and didn't make any mistakes even though the rain came and it was very difficult in the wet. The team did a great job we have a few hours to go so we have to push very hard. We'll see what happens as this race is never over until the end."
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About TOYOTA Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship:
TOYOTA first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship 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 14 Le Mans 24 Hours races, with a total of 38 vehicles taking part. For 2012, TOYOTA returned to endurance racing as a full-time entrant with a hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 HYBRID. This car won for the first time at the Six Hours of Sao Paulo in September, just its third race and went on to win three of the six races it competed. The 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 (GT-One) 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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