PODIUM RETURN FOR TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing returned to the podium in an exciting 6 Hours of Mexico, the fifth round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi in the #6 TS050 HYBRID overcame a difficult start to the event, which saw them miss Thursday practice due to an accident, to finish third. That result elevates them to second in the drivers’ World Championship.
Only one TS050 HYBRID finished the race, with the #5 car of Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima forced to retire due to an electrical issue on the powertrain when challenging for a podium finish.
At just 4.304km, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodrigues is the shortest on the WEC calendar and this forced the LMP1 cars to regularly fight their way through lapped traffic, creating an action-packed race with occasional contact.
After 90 minutes one such incident saw Mike, at the wheel of the #6, clash with an LMP2 car, earning him a drive through penalty which cost 20 seconds. The car was, however, not damaged.
More misfortune struck TOYOTA just a few minutes later when an electrical issue on the powertrain forced Kazuki in car #5 to pit for repairs. Unfortunately the problem could not be repaired quickly and the car retired.
Soon after half distance, an exciting race took another twist when rain struck. Stéphane, running fourth at that stage, immediately brought the #6 TS050 HYBRID in for wet tyres to cope with the increasingly slippery track.
Position changes were frequent and the #6 ran third until the #7 Audi, on hybrid intermediate tyres, got past. But Stéphane put in a brilliant performance to twice pass the #2 Porsche for third either side of a tyre change for slicks.
Soon the #6 moved ahead of the #7 Audi for second place prior to its final pit stop, when hybrid intermediate tyres were fitted in anticipation of rain during the final laps.
Stéphane stayed behind the wheel and safely brought the car home in third place for the #6 crew’s third podium of the season, just 8.267 seconds behind the second-placed Audi #7 and on the same lap as the race-winning #1 Porsche.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is back in action in just two weeks, when the WEC field travels north to Austin for the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas on Saturday 17 September, the sixth of nine races this season.
Toshio Sato, Team President
“It has been a challenging week for us in Mexico but the team never gave up and this result is a deserved reward. It’s a pity about the issue for the #5 crew as I am sure they also would have been strong. Everyone has worked hard to improve our package for high-downforce circuits and the team did a great job. I am really happy to show this good performance in front of the Mexican fans and our colleagues at Toyota Mexico, who have been extremely supportive. We improved continuously through the week and the target now is to improve further for Austin and fight again at the front.”
TS050 HYBRID #5 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima)
Race: DNF, 62 laps, 2 pit stops. Grid: 5th. Fastest lap: 1min 26.767secs
“Congratulations to car #6 on the podium and on being second in the World Championship, which is impressive. I am very disappointed in our race because I had a competitive first stint. We showed that we had good pace and I could follow closely the Audi and the Porsche. It’s nice for the team to have a podium but now we focus on Austin.”
“It was a difficult day for us but a good result for car #6 to get a podium for the team. I am happy for them and pleased to see how competitive the car was. It was an exciting race to watch but I would prefer to be racing; it’s a pity that we couldn’t finish because we had strong pace at the beginning.”
TS050 HYBRID #6 (Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi)
Race: 3rd, 230 laps, 7 pit stops. Grid: 6th. Fastest lap: 1min 26.083secs
“I was really frustrated about my crash on Thursday because it’s not like me. But the mechanics did such a great job working all night to prepare the car. We all give our best and sometimes we start an event with difficulties but we finish in a positive way. When I was in the car I was thinking about the mechanics, which motivated me to push even harder. I felt so good in the car and with Mike and Kamui, as well our engineers, we have a great package. It’s amazing to be on the podium and to be second in the championship.”
“It’s fantastic to get a podium here. At the beginning it was looking difficult but my stint was going well until I unfortunately got the drive through penalty. After that the pace was good and we could double stint the tyres which was an advantage. Stéphane did a brilliant job; as the track got drier he just got quicker. It looked like we had a chance for second which would have been amazing but the rain came a bit too late. All credit to the mechanics for getting the car over the finish line; it’s been a big team effort.”
“We didn’t expect this. The week had been difficult for us but to achieve a podium finish is just great for everyone. The mechanics had a really hard week so I think they deserve this, along with the whole team. It was fun to stand on the podium and see their reaction. After qualifying no-one would predict we would be pushing for second place so I’m really happy with our race.”
|Pos||N°||Cat||Driver||Car||T||Laps||Total Time||Gap||Gap Prev.||Best lap||Best time||Best speed|
|1||1||LMP1||Timo BERNHARD, Mark WEBBER, Brendon HARTLEY||Porsche 919 Hybrid||M||230||6:00'43.702||114||1'25.880||180.4|
|2||7||LMP1||Marcel FÄSSLER, André LOTTERER,||Audi R18||M||230||6:01'45.144||1'01.442||1'01.442||57||1'26.083||180.0|
|3||6||LMP1||Stéphane SARRAZIN, Mike CONWAY, Kamui KOBAYASHI||Toyota TS050 - Hybrid||M||230||6:01'53.411||1'09.709||8.267||182||1'26.567||179.0|
|4||2||LMP1||Romain DUMAS, Neel JANI, Marc LIEB||Porsche 919 Hybrid||M||230||6:02'13.706||1'30.004||20.295||63||1'26.531||179.1|
|5||13||LMP1||Mathéo TUSCHER, Dominik KRAIHAMER, Alexandre IMPERATORI||Rebellion R-One - AER||D||218||6:01'44.598||12 Laps||12 Laps||183||1'30.710||170.8|
|6||43||LMP2||Ricardo GONZALEZ, Filipe ALBUQUERQUE, Bruno SENNA||LIGIER JS P2 - Nissan||D||210||6:01'12.588||20 Laps||8 Laps||28||1'35.702||161.9|
|7||36||LMP2||Gustavo MENEZES, Nicolas LAPIERRE, Stéphane RICHELMI||Alpine A460 - Nissan||D||210||6:01'14.573||20 Laps||1.985||173||1'36.026||161.4|
|8||31||LMP2||Ryan DALZIEL, Luis Felipe DERANI, Christopher CUMMING||LIGIER JS P2 - Nissan||M||207||6:01'19.980||23 Laps||3 Laps||172||1'36.335||160.8|
|9||42||LMP2||Nick LEVENTIS, Lewis WILLIAMSON, Jonny KANE||Gibson 015S - Nissan||D||207||6:02'06.005||23 Laps||46.025||175||1'36.995||159.7|
|10||41||LMP2||Roberto GONZALEZ, Bruno JUNQUEIRA, Luis DIAZ||Gibson 015S - Nissan||D||207||6:02'38.532||23 Laps||32.527||176||1'37.027||159.7|
|11||35||LMP2||David CHENG, Ho-Pin TUNG, Nelson PANCIATICI||Alpine A460 - Nissan||D||206||6:01'19.643||24 Laps||1 Laps||64||1'36.248||161.0|
|12||27||LMP2||Nicolas MINASSIAN, Maurizio MEDIANI,||BR01 - Nissan||D||206||6:01'22.453||24 Laps||2.810||167||1'37.372||159.1|
|13||26||LMP2||Roman RUSINOV, René RAST, Alex BRUNDLE||Oreca 05 - Nissan||D||205||6:01'25.864||25 Laps||1 Laps||24||1'35.925||161.5|
|14||30||LMP2||Scott SHARP, Ed BROWN, Johannes VAN OVERBEEK||LIGIER JS P2 - Nissan||M||204||6:00'54.134||26 Laps||1 Laps||80||1'37.813||158.4|
|15||97||LMGTE Pro||Richie STANAWAY, Darren TURNER,||Aston Martin Vantage V8||D||202||6:01'30.739||28 Laps||2 Laps||78||1'40.633||154.0|
|16||51||LMGTE Pro||Gianmaria BRUNI, James CALADO,||Ferrari 488 GTE||M||202||6:01'40.176||28 Laps||9.437||148||1'41.025||153.4|
|17||95||LMGTE Pro||Nicki THIIM, Marco SØRENSEN,||Aston Martin Vantage V8||D||202||6:01'48.981||28 Laps||8.805||77||1'40.478||154.2|
|18||71||LMGTE Pro||Davide RIGON, Sam BIRD,||Ferrari 488 GTE||M||201||6:00'44.919||29 Laps||1 Laps||180||1'41.487||152.7|
|19||67||LMGTE Pro||Marino FRANCHITTI, Andy PRIAULX, Harry TINCKNELL||Ford GT||M||201||6:01'45.701||29 Laps||1'00.782||166||1'41.234||153.1|
|20||77||LMGTE Pro||Richard LIETZ, Michael CHRISTENSEN,||Porsche 911 RSR (2016)||M||201||6:02'05.757||29 Laps||20.056||171||1'41.661||152.4|
|21||4||LMP1||Simon TRUMMER, Oliver WEBB, Pierre KAFFER||CLM P1/01 - AER||D||199||6:01'06.959||31 Laps||2 Laps||2||1'32.118||168.2|
|22||88||LMGTE Am||Khaled AL QUBAISI, David HEINEMEIER HANSSON, Patrick LONG||Porsche 911 RSR||M||197||6:01'39.852||33 Laps||2 Laps||178||1'42.328||151.4|
|23||83||LMGTE Am||François PERRODO, Emmanuel COLLARD, Rui AGUAS||Ferrari F458 Italia||M||196||6:00'52.159||34 Laps||1 Laps||175||1'42.795||150.7|
|24||78||LMGTE Am||Christian RIED, Wolf HENZLER, Joël CAMATHIAS||Porsche 911 RSR||M||196||6:01'09.914||34 Laps||17.755||105||1'42.474||151.2|
|25||86||LMGTE Am||Michael WAINWRIGHT, Adam CARROLL, Ben BARKER||Porsche 911 RSR||M||196||6:01'43.768||34 Laps||33.854||3||1'42.204||151.6|
|26||66||LMGTE Pro||Stefan MÜCKE, Olivier PLA,||Ford GT||M||181||6:00'45.547||49 Laps||15 Laps||114||1'41.598||152.5|
|27||8||LMP1||Lucas DI GRASSI, Loïc DUVAL, Oliver JARVIS||Audi R18||M||167||6:04'22.532||63 Laps||14 Laps||41||1'25.954||180.3|
|28||98||LMGTE Am||Paul DALLA LANA, Pedro LAMY, Mathias LAUDA||Aston Martin Vantage V8||M||192||6:00'54.881||38 Laps||-25 Laps||65||1'42.301||151.5|
|29||50||LMGTE Am||Yutaka YAMAGISHI, Pierre RAGUES, Ricky TAYLOR||Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06||M||184||5:51'11.518||46 Laps||8 Laps||64||1'43.308||150.0|
|30||44||LMP2||Matthew RAO, Richard BRADLEY, Alfonso Diaz GUERRA||Oreca 05 - Nissan||D||179||5:36'24.354||51 Laps||5 Laps||149||1'36.141||161.2|
|31||5||LMP1||Sébastien BUEMI, Kazuki NAKAJIMA,||Toyota TS050 - Hybrid||M||62||1:37'13.023||168 Laps||117 Laps||33||1'26.767||178.6|
|32||37||LMP2||Vitaly PETROV, Kirill LADYGIN, Victor SHAITAR||BR01 - Nissan||D||29||47'49.011||201 Laps||33 Laps||23||1'37.603||158.7|
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