TOYOTA Racing’s Le Mans 24 Hours – Update 5

Le Mans 24 Hours RaceTS030 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima)
Grid: 5th

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)
Grid: 4th

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.”