Round5

6 Hours of Mexico

Course: Autódromo
Hermanos
Rodríguez

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

Sébastien Buemi

“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.”

Kazuki Nakajima

“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

Stéphane Sarrazin

“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.”

Mike Conway

“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.”

Kamui Kobayashi

“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.”

RACE RESULTS

Pos 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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