As this week marks the first time WEC has visited the track in Austin, Texas, the series organised a collective test, as was also conducted successfully prior to the Fuji race last year.
A two-hour morning session saw Anthony Davidson initially behind the wheel of the #8 TS030 HYBRID before he handed over to Stéphane Sarrazin, who is the only TOYOTA Racing driver with experience of the track having raced in Grand Am earlier this year.
When the chequered flag fell, the #8 had completed 36 laps of the 5.515km track, with lap times, as usual for a test session, not a priority. The #8 set a best lap of 1min 52.408secs, the third quickest of the morning.
In the afternoon, another two-hour test began with Stéphane again in the cockpit as the team continued to evaluate set-ups and tyres ahead of tomorrow’s first official practice sessions.
Sébastien Buemi got his chance to experience the Circuit of the Americas midway through the afternoon session before handing the TS030 HYBRID back to Stéphane for the closing minutes.
Again the #8 closed the session in third place, after 45 laps, with an improved best time of 1min 50.623secs.
Anthony Davidson: “It was really good to drive here for the first time. It lived up to the expectation from what I’ve seen on TV. I was really pleased to finally get to turn a wheel around here. The car felt like it is well suited to the track. The circuit has a good flow and a nice technical end to the lap, so it gives the drivers a good work-out. I was happy with that.”
Sébastien Buemi: “I’m very happy to discover this nice new circuit. The temperature is very hot and it will make it interesting for the race. We will have to work on reliability in such conditions. We learnt quite a bit on this test session, on the tyres and the car set-up. The first section of the track is very nice and very similar to Silverstone, you can carry a lot of speed. The last part is quite tricky with a lot of low-speed corners, but very interesting. Definitely we are looking forward for tomorrow’s first official practice sessions.”