Challenging opening day for Toyota Gazoo Racing

An accident for the #6 TS050 HYBRID during the morning test caused monocoque damage which prevented any further running

Challenging opening day for Toyota Gazoo Racing
Anthony Davidson (GBR) / Sebastien Buemi (SUI) / Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) #05 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid
Anthony Davidson, Toyota Gazoo Racing
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
Stephane Sarrazin, Toyota Gazoo Racing
#6 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#6 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#6 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
(L to R): Mike Conway with Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Anthony Davidson, Toyota Racing
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#6 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#6 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima

Mexico City, Mexico - Thursday 1 September 2016 - Toyota Gazoo Racing experienced a difficult day at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as practice began for the 6 Hours of Mexico, the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

An accident for the #6 TS050 HYBRID of Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi during the morning test caused monocoque damage which prevented any further running. Stéphane was unhurt and the car will be ready in time for third practice and qualifying.

Additionally, car #5 found itself reduced to just two drivers following Anthony Davidson’s withdrawal from the Mexico event.

Anthony is recovering from bruised ribs sustained during a test at Magny-Cours last month. He drove several laps during the morning test to evaluate his recovery but a joint decision was made that he will take no further part in the event.

That will ensure he is fully recovered in time for the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas on 17 September when high temperatures make it essential for each car to have its full complement of three drivers.

The day was already scheduled to be a busy one, with a test in the morning to give teams more time to acclimatise to the 4.304km track, which is new to the WEC calendar.

With the #6 pit crew working hard to change the monocoque following Stéphane’s accident, Sébastien and Kazuki took on the burden of a busy test programme during the remaining two free practice sessions.

As well as the normal challenges of adapting a car to a new circuit, Mexico City places additional demands on the team due to the thin air at high altitude which affects downforce levels and cooling to the brakes and powertrain components.

The TS050 HYBRIDs are fitted with extra cooling solutions for this race and these options were evaluated during the three sessions today, along with aerodynamic, mechanical and powertrain settings.

Track conditions evolved throughout the day. The morning session cleaned away dust and dirt so the cars benefited from increasing grip levels, which continued through first practice. Rain just before second practice washed the circuit clean and presented slightly different track conditions again for the drivers.

At the end of four-and-a-half hours of track action, the #5 TS050 HYBRID was fifth fastest having completed a total of 113 laps, 486km.

TS050 HYBRID #5 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima)

Collective test: 6th (1min 31.159secs), 27 laps
Free practice 1: 5th (1min 27.901secs), 41 laps
Free practice 2: 5th (1min 26.714secs), 45 laps

Anthony Davidson: “It is disappointing to come all the way here and then not be able to race but it’s the right decision. I wasn’t comfortable in the car this morning and there is no point to take any risks, especially with Austin coming up. It’s not a problem to race here with two drivers but it would be impossible in Austin due to the high temperatures. So I’ll be a frustrated spectator for the rest of the week but I know Séb and Kazuki will do a good job.”

Sébastien Buemi: “Today was a mixed one for the team. Obviously not good for car #6 and unfortunate that Anthony can’t participate. But the good thing was that Kazuki and I could complete a lot of laps. I’m quite happy with how it went. The track improved a lot throughout the day; we had a lot of sliding at the start then the grip picked up. It is a new track for everyone so we had to learn a lot in a short amount of time. In the end we looked okay so we’ll see what we can do from here.”

Kazuki Nakajima: “It was a long day with three sessions from morning to evening. We tested many different things on the car and it was getting more and more comfortable to drive. Now we need to analyse everything from today and maximize the car performance. I’ve enjoyed experiencing this track for the first time; it is a fun circuit to drive because the walls are so close and it’s quite a twisty lay-out. The section from turn seven to 11 is challenging as well.”

TS050 HYBRID #6 (Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi)

Collective test: 5th (1min 30.790secs), 19 laps

Stéphane Sarrazin: “Unfortunately I had an incident in the last corner. I was in fifth gear and I lost the car over the kerbs; I made a mistake. Today it was important for us to learn the track so it was not the time for that to happen, but it actually never is. Huge thanks to the mechanics who had to do this big job to get the car ready again for tomorrow. We will do our best from here and we will push to score good points.”

Mike Conway: “Today didn’t go to plan for us. The track is pretty cool though. It was really dirty to start with but it’s quite a good lay-out and a lot tighter than you think; the acceleration time between the corners is short. That also means it’s tricky with traffic and hard to get a clear lap. My initial impressions are good but getting a clear lap could be hard so that will be a challenge in qualifying.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “It was a very short day for us in car #6; I only did a handful of laps. Obviously it’s not ideal because this is a new circuit but that’s the situation and we have to make the best from it. Third practice will be important for us to learn the circuit and get the right set-up, but the other car did plenty of laps so that will help, I’m sure. We are staying positive and will fight for a good race.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing

shares
comments
Webber: Porsche’s plan in Mexico is ‘stop Audi winning’

Previous article

Webber: Porsche’s plan in Mexico is ‘stop Audi winning’

Next article

Mexico WEC: Hartley Porsche fastest in final practice

Mexico WEC: Hartley Porsche fastest in final practice
Load comments
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021
Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Prime

Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally.

WEC
Aug 14, 2021
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021