Toyota racing: le mans 24 hours update 3
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."
Stay up to date with TOYOTA Racing's Le Mans 24 Hours challenge via the team Twitter feed @Toyota_Hybrid.
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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