BELGIAN BLUES FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
Saturday 2 May 2015
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing completed a weekend to forget in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with a deeply disappointing result in the second round of the World Endurance Championship.
The event got off to a bad start on Thursday when Kazuki Nakajima suffered a fractured vertebra during a heavy practice accident in wet conditions and a difficult race day did little to improve the team’s mood.
With a larger-than-expected gap to Audi and Porsche at Spa, the race was an exercise in damage limitation with the World Championship fight in mind, but that too ended in frustration.
Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway, in the #2, were the lead TS040 HYBRID in fifth position. World Champions Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi suffered technical problems and finished eighth.
Hopes were certainly higher at the start, when Sébastien lined up sixth with Alex one spot behind. Alex battled ahead of the sister car, briefly taking fourth with a fighting performance into turn one before slipping back.
Incidents throughout the LMP1 field shook up the order regularly and helped both TS040 HYBRIDs into the top six after the first driver changes. The #2, with Stéphane now at the wheel, ran fifth with Anthony directly behind in the #1 at half distance.
Unfortunately the #1 also became a victim of the LMP1 troubles. Electrical problems caused two pit stops for repairs, costing more than 20 minutes which left Sébastien 14 laps off the lead in 14th when he returned to the action.
All the while, Stéphane then Mike pressed on with the #2 in fifth. With two hours remaining, Sébastien set about making up positions, with the top 10 in sight.
Anthony and Alex took over their respective cars for the run to the chequered flag, with the #1 continuing to claw back positions against the slower LMP2 cars. Alex completed a trouble-free run in fifth, three laps behind, with Anthony eighth.
That result leaves reigning World Champions TOYOTA with 47 points and in third place in the manufacturers’ standings. Alex, Stéphane and Mike are the leading TOYOTA drivers in their standings, in third.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is fully focused on a significant improvement in its next race, the Le Mans 24 Hours on 13-14 June. Preparations begin at the Circuit de la Sarthe with the official test day on 31 May.
Toshio Sato, Team President:
“This has been a tough event for us. We wanted to get a much better result, particularly for Kazuki. Like in Silverstone, we have shown a lap time improvement compared to last year but it has not been enough to challenge Audi and Porsche who have done an impressive job. Congratulations to Audi on a hard-fought victory. We will conduct a detailed investigation into the technical problems as well as the gap to our competitors. We will work flat-out and concentrate on the development of our Le Mans-spec car.”
“It was a disappointing day to cap a rough week for car #1 which started with Kazuki’s crash. We had some technical problems and a weekend to forget. The next race is the most important one of the year so we will stay focused and look for more performance.”
“It has been one of our worst weekends to be honest; it’s been a long time since we were not on the podium. We had problems in the race and we were not quick enough. We have to go home and try to find some lap time. We will continue to push and do the best we can.”
“It was tough race because we just didn’t have the pace. I had some fun battles; it was very nice to fight on track. Overall the race was very exciting for WEC fans but we are not at the front so I want to go home and work hard with the team to see what we can improve.”
“As we feared, it has been a difficult day for us. Audi and Porsche were very quick. They have made a really big step; even if we also improved we are still behind. We have one month to react so we will see. We have to push really hard for Le Mans to improve.”
“We did the best job we could and fifth was the maximum we could do. It’s a few more points for us but the next race is Le Mans, which is the big one. We just have to get our heads down and keep working away to prepare the most competitive package we can for Le Mans.”
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing results
|5th, 173 laps, 7 pit stops.||7th||2min 00.170secs|
|8th, 162 laps, 9 pit stops.||6th||1min 59.528secs|
Race results and chrono
|Pos||N°||Cat||Driver||Car||T||Laps||Total Time||Gap||Best time||Best speed|
|1||7||LMP1||Marcel FÄSSLER, André LOTTERER, Benoît TRÉLUYER||Audi R18 e-tron quattro||M||176||6:01'08.896||1'57.996||213.7|
|2||18||LMP1||Romain DUMAS, Neel JANI, Marc LIEB||Porsche 919 Hybrid||M||176||6:01'22.320||13.424||1'58.025||213.6|
|3||17||LMP1||Timo BERNHARD, Mark WEBBER, Brendon HARTLEY||Porsche 919 Hybrid||M||175||6:02'07.087||1 Laps||1'57.972||213.7|
|4||9||LMP1||Filipe ALBUQUERQUE, Marco BONANOMI, René RAST||Audi R18 e-tron quattro||M||174||6:02'54.347||2 Laps||1'59.797||210.5|
|5||2||LMP1||Alexander WURZ, Stéphane SARRAZIN, Mike CONWAY||Toyota TS 040 - Hybrid||M||173||6:01'11.616||3 Laps||2'00.170||209.8|
|6||19||LMP1||Nico HÜLKENBERG, Earl BAMBER, Nick TANDY||Porsche 919 Hybrid||M||173||6:02'03.416||3 Laps||1'58.052||213.6|
|7||8||LMP1||Lucas DI GRASSI, Loïc DUVAL, Oliver JARVIS||Audi R18 e-tron quattro||M||168||6:03'26.476||8 Laps||1'58.077||213.5|
|8||1||LMP1||Anthony DAVIDSON, Sébastien BUEMI,||Toyota TS 040 - Hybrid||M||162||6:02'05.589||14 Laps||1'59.528||210.9|
|9||38||LMP2||Simon DOLAN, Mitch EVANS, Harry TINCKNELL||Gibson 015S - Nissan||D||161||6:03'19.779||15 Laps||2'09.364||194.9|
|10||28||LMP2||Gustavo YACAMAN, Luis Felipe DERANI, Ricardo GONZALEZ||Ligier JS P2 - Nissan||D||160||6:02'46.418||16 Laps||2'10.709||192.9|
|11||43||LMP2||Pierre RAGUES, Oliver WEBB, Zoel AMBERG||Morgan Evo - SARD||D||159||6:01'33.547||17 Laps||2'10.113||193.8|
|12||47||LMP2||Matthew HOWSON, Richard BRADLEY, Nicolas LAPIERRE||Oreca 05 - Nissan||D||159||6:01'51.235||17 Laps||2'09.633||194.5|
|13||36||LMP2||Nelson PANCIATICI, Paul Loup CHATIN, Vincent CAPILLAIRE||Alpine A450b - Nissan||D||159||6:02'29.772||17 Laps||2'10.587||193.1|
|14||42||LMP2||Nick LEVENTIS, Danny WATTS, Jonny KANE||Strakka Dome S103 - Nissan||M||156||6:02'04.850||20 Laps||2'12.246||190.7|
|15||35||LMP2||Jacques NICOLET, Jean-Marc MERLIN, Erik MARIS||Ligier JS P2 - Nissan||D||152||6:03'10.315||24 Laps||2'14.763||187.1|
|16||99||LMGTE Pro||Alex MACDOWALL, Fernando REES, Richie STANAWAY||Aston Martin Vantage V8||M||151||6:02'17.759||25 Laps||2'19.189||181.2|
|17||92||LMGTE Pro||Frédéric MAKOWIECKI, Richard LIETZ,||Porsche 911 RSR||M||151||6:02'47.250||25 Laps||2'18.963||181.4|
|18||91||LMGTE Pro||Sven MÜLLER, Kevin ESTRE,||Porsche 911 RSR||M||151||6:03'15.238||25 Laps||2'19.229||181.1|
|19||51||LMGTE Pro||Gianmaria BRUNI, Toni VILANDER,||Ferrari F458 Italia||M||151||6:03'30.834||25 Laps||2'19.178||181.2|
|20||97||LMGTE Pro||Darren TURNER, Stefan MÜCKE, Rob BELL||Aston Martin Vantage V8||M||150||6:01'14.679||26 Laps||2'18.774||181.7|
|21||95||LMGTE Pro||Christoffer NYGAARD, Marco SØRENSEN, Jonathan ADAM||Aston Martin Vantage V8||M||150||6:01'34.962||26 Laps||2'19.626||180.6|
|22||71||LMGTE Pro||Davide RIGON, James CALADO,||Ferrari F458 Italia||M||150||6:02'18.707||26 Laps||2'19.504||180.7|
|23||31||LMP2||Ed BROWN, Johannes VAN OVERBEEK, Jonathon FOGARTY||Ligier JS P2 - HPD||D||149||6:01'48.706||27 Laps||2'12.273||190.6|
|24||98||LMGTE Am||Paul DALLA LANA, Pedro LAMY, Mathias LAUDA||Aston Martin Vantage V8||M||148||6:01'18.543||28 Laps||2'20.317||179.7|
|25||83||LMGTE Am||François PERRODO, Emmanuel COLLARD, Rui AGUAS||Ferrari F458 Italia||M||148||6:03'03.801||28 Laps||2'21.526||178.2|
|26||72||LMGTE Am||Victor SHAYTAR, Andrea BERTOLINI, Aleksey BASOV||Ferrari F458 Italia||M||147||6:01'31.282||29 Laps||2'20.311||179.7|
|27||88||LMGTE Am||Christian RIED, Khaled AL QUBAISI, Klaus BACHLER||Porsche 911 RSR||M||146||6:01'32.774||30 Laps||2'21.095||178.7|
|28||77||LMGTE Am||Patrick DEMPSEY, Patrick LONG, Marco SEEFRIED||Porsche 911 RSR||M||145||6:01'15.583||31 Laps||2'21.750||177.9|
|29||96||LMGTE Am||Francesco CASTELLACCI, Roald GOETHE, Stuart HALL||Aston Martin Vantage V8||M||138||6:03'04.420||38 Laps||2'21.927||177.7|
|30||30||LMP2||Scott SHARP, Ryan DALZIEL, David HEINEMEIER-HANSSON||Ligier JS P2 - HPD||D||134||6:02'06.483||42 Laps||2'11.633||191.5|
|31||26||LMP2||Roman RUSINOV, Julien CANAL, Sam BIRD||Ligier JS P2 - Nissan||D||124||6:02'01.449||52 Laps||2'09.399||194.9|
|32||55||LMGTE Am||Duncan CAMERON, Matt GRIFFIN, Alexander MORTIMER||Ferrari F458 Italia||M||128||5:32'51.431||48 Laps||2'20.857||179.0|
|33||50||LMGTE Am||Gianluca RODA, Paolo RUBERTI, Kristian POULSEN||Chevrolet Corvette C7||M||61||2:28'33.320||115 Laps||2'21.056||178.8|
|34||4||LMP1||Simon TRUMMER, Vitantonio LIUZZI, Christian KLIEN||CLM P1/01 - AER||M||46||1:49'24.427||130 Laps||2'09.137||195.3|
GET THE COMPLETE RACE RESULTS AND CHRONO