Drivers parade before the big day…

Before the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours, Saturday at 15:00, the drivers of the TOYOTA Racing team have a day off which was concluded by the traditional drivers parade in Le Mans centre.

After little rest, drivers were back in the circuit late in the morning for the team press conference. A lot of media were there to meet the team management and the line-up: Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima, who are fifth on the grid with car #7 and Stéphane Sarrazin, Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi, who will start from third tomorrow with car #8. While team was preparing the car, drivers debriefed and analysed the qualifying sessions.

Then they went to Le Mans centre for the drivers parade. Even with rainy conditions, fans were again out in force. Kazuki Nakajima discovered this famous event of the Le Mans week. He also received the ACO Rookie of the Year trophy after his brilliant qualifying performance. “The parade is an amazing event,” he said. “The streets were lined with thousands of fans who route around the narrow streets of the old city of Le Mans despite the rain pouring down. It was great to receive such a warm welcome from the crowd. As it is my first time I did not know what to expect and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Alex, Nico and I sat in an old-timer car and there were several stops where we gave interviews. In-between we spoke to fans and signed all kinds of items. Right at the beginning of the event I was presented with the ACO Rookie of the Year award, which actually is a really big trophy. What a lovely surprise. I am very happy to have been awarded this. For me it is something to prove myself and also a nice souvenir for the team.”

Tomorrow, team and drivers will be back in action at 9:00 for the warm-up; a good opportunity to set up the last details. Cars will be on the grid at 13:00. After the drivers photo at 13:40, race start procedure will begin at 14:05. The Le Mans 24 Hours will start at 15:00, for the twice-around-the-clock race.