Round6

6 HOURS OF CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS

Course: Circuit of
The Americas

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing TAKES TEXAS PODIUM

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing finished on the podium in the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas after a race-long challenge for victory in the sixth round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

The TS050 HYBRIDs recovered from a disappointing qualifying session to perform strongly, with the #8 of Sébastien Buemi, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima finishing third, 21.680secs behind the winning Porsche #2 after 1,058km of racing.

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López in the #7 TS050 HYBRID played their part in an exciting race on their way to fourth place as the Toyotas finished in the same order as they started.

When the race began under the midday sun, both cars took the fight to Porsche and at the end of the first lap Sébastien passed the #2 for second, with Mike taking third a few moments later.

Due to air temperatures of 34°C, WEC regulations required the team to change drivers at each stint so Kazuki and José María took the wheel at the first pit stops when neither car changed tyres, unlike the Porsches.

Kazuki led the race from the #7 after one hour but José, using a different compound than the sister car and suffering higher degradation, slipped to fourth despite fighting wheel to wheel over two laps with the #1 Porsche.

At the next round of pit stops, when Stéphane and Kamui took over, new tyres of the same compound were fitted to both cars which handed the lead back to Porsche, courtesy of their shorter fuel-only pit stops. Kamui's impressive stint saw him pass Stéphane for third and eliminate the gap to Porsche #2.

On the three-hour mark, after another driver change and refuelling stop for both cars, a 10-minute safety car period for barrier repairs brought all four LMP1 cars together at the front, with Mike in second and Sébastien third.

When the race re-started the TS050 HYBRIDs, on used tyres, were under attack from the #2 Porsche on new rubber. Mike dropped to fourth while Sébastien temporarily defended his second place until the next pit stops when the #8 car slipped to third.

With two hours still to go the drivers kept the pressure on Porsche, despite the uncomfortable heat, but ultimately the leaders proved just out of reach with Kazuki and Kamui taking the chequered flag in third and fourth respectively.

Kamui brought the #7 car home 13.070secs behind the sister car, but was penalised a further 10 seconds for contact with the #24 LMP2 car late in the race.

Despite missing out on a third victory of the season, the team now prepares for its home race at Fuji Speedway on 13 October with renewed confidence.

Hisatake Murata, Team President

“The team worked very hard to recover from a disappointing qualifying and I am pleased that we could challenge Porsche and give the fans an exciting race. Everyone could see our fighting spirit today, so thank you to the team for their big effort; we had a good strategy, quick pit stops and tough racing from the drivers in the difficult, hot conditions. Congratulations to Porsche on their victory. Even though we are disappointed not to win, today's performance gives us a lot of encouragement for our home race; we will go to Fuji Speedway aiming for the middle of the podium.”

TS050 HYBRID #7 (Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, José María López)

Race: 4th, 192 laps, 6 pit stops. Grid: 4th. Fastest lap: 1min 47.391secs

Mike Conway (TS050 HYBRID #7)

“After the first stint it was looking quite promising but the second stint on the tyres was difficult because there was less grip and we lost time. Also the safety car didn't help us as it allowed the Porsche #2 to close the gap. So all in all it's a bit disappointing even though we were much stronger today than we were in qualifying.”

Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 HYBRID #7)

“We tried our best today and pushed really hard to take the fight to Porsche. It's a pity not to score more points when we were relatively competitive but we were just not quite quick enough. It's a good sign that we were stronger here than in Mexico and we expect to take another step in Fuji.”

José María López (TS050 HYBRID #7)

“I have mixed feelings because I am happy that we put up a good fight and I enjoyed my battle with Porsche #1; we didn't expect that. On the other side, fourth is not why we go racing; we are all here to win. But we should see the positive. We didn't give up, we came back stronger after qualifying and I hope in the next race we can be even stronger.”

TS050 HYBRID #8 (Sébastien Buemi, Stéphane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima)

Race: 3rd, 192 laps, 6 pit stops. Grid: 3rd. Fastest lap: 1min 47.556secs

Sébastien Buemi (TS050 HYBRID #8)

“To be honest after qualifying I wasn't expecting to be in a fight with Porsche because we seemed far away. On the old tyres in the middle of the race I had a really good stint. We had to be aggressive in traffic to stay in the fight and I pushed as hard as I could. In the end we were just missing a little bit of pace to beat them.”

Stéphane Sarrazin (TS050 HYBRID #8)

“It's nice to be on the podium again with Toyota. Sébastien and Kazuki, as well as the whole team, did a great job. I was disappointed after qualifying but we did a strong race and the battle was close. We need to improve the car to push really hard in Fuji where we are normally strong; we can do it.”

Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8)

“I enjoyed leading the race in my first stint; that was unexpected to be honest. Our pace was quite good and we managed to keep a gap. So it started very well, but we were just missing some speed towards the end. Third is the same result as we had in Mexico but it is actually a good step forward. We were in a fight; it should be better for Fuji and the rest of the season.”

  • The mechanics of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
  • Stéphane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi on the podium of the Circuit of the Americas
  • Two TS050 HYBRIDs at the Circuit of the Americas
  • TS050 HYBRID #8 at the Circuit of the America
  • Porsche and TS050 HYBRID the 1st corner of the Circuit of the Americas
  • Mike Conway
  • Two TS050 HYBRIDs and Porsche #2 at the Circuit of the Americas
  • TS050 HYBRID at the Circuit of the Americas

RACE RESULTS

PosCatTeam/CarDriverTotal Time/GapLapsBest timeT
12LMP1-HPorsche LMP Team
Porsche 919 Hybrid
Timo BERNHARD
Earl BAMBER
Brendon HARTLEY
6:00'52.4441921'47.302M
21LMP1-HPorsche LMP Team
Porsche 919 Hybrid
Neel JANI
André LOTTERER
Nick TANDY
0.2761921'47.149M
38LMP1-HTOYOTA GAZOO Racing
Toyota TS050 HYBRID
Sébastien BUEMI
Stéphane SARRAZIN
Kazuki NAKAJIMA
21.9561921'47.556M
47LMP1-HTOYOTA GAZOO Racing
Toyota TS050 HYBRID
Mike CONWAY
Kamui KOBAYASHI
Jose Maria LOPEZ
45.0261921'47.391M
536LMP2Signatech Alpine Matmut
Alpine A470 - Gibson
Nicolas LAPIERRE
Gustavo MENEZES
André NEGRÃO
15 Laps1771'55.427D
613LMP2Vaillante Rebellion
Oreca 07 - Gibson
Mathias BECHE
David HEINEMEIER HANSSON
Nelson PIQUET JR
16 Laps1761'55.616D
731LMP2Vaillante Rebellion
Oreca 07 - Gibson
Julien CANAL
Nicolas PROST
Bruno SENNA
16 Laps1761'55.695D
838LMP2Jackie Chan DC Racing
Oreca 07 - Gibson
Ho-Pin TUNG
Oliver JARVIS
Thomas LAURENT
16 Laps1761'56.094D
937LMP2Jackie Chan DC Racing
Oreca 07 - Gibson
David CHENG
Alex BRUNDLE
Tristan GOMMENDY
17 Laps1751'55.434D
1024LMP2CEFC Manor TRS Racing
Oreca 07 - Gibson
Matthew RAO
Ben HANLEY
Jean-Eric VERGNE
17 Laps1751'56.489D
1128LMP2TDS Racing
Oreca 07 - Gibson
François PERRODO
Matthieu VAXIVIERE
Emmanuel COLLARD
18 Laps1741'55.911D
1226LMP2G-Drive Racing
Oreca 07 - Gibson
Roman RUSINOV
Pierre THIRIET
Alex LYNN
24 Laps1681'55.895D
1351LMGTE ProAF Corse
Ferrari 488 GTE
James CALADO
Alessandro PIER GUIDI
25 Laps1672'04.874M
1492LMGTE ProPorsche GT Team
Porsche 911 RSR
Michael CHRISTENSEN
Kevin ESTRE
25 Laps1672'05.436M
1571LMGTE ProAF Corse
Ferrari 488 GTE
Davide RIGON
Sam BIRD
25 Laps1672'04.801M
1695LMGTE ProAston Martin Racing
Aston Martin VANTAGE
Nicki THIIM
Marco SØRENSEN
25 Laps1672'04.789D
1797LMGTE ProAston Martin Racing
Aston Martin VANTAGE
Darren TURNER
Jonathan ADAM
Daniel SERRA
25 Laps1672'05.972D
1891LMGTE ProPorsche GT Team
Porsche 911 RSR
Richard LIETZ
Frédéric MAKOWIECKI
26 Laps1662'05.230M
1967LMGTE ProFord Chip Ganassi Team UK
Ford GT
Andy PRIAULX
Harry TINCKNELL
26 Laps1662'05.604M
2066LMGTE ProFord Chip Ganassi Team UK
Ford GT
Stefan MÜCKE
Olivier PLA
26 Laps1662'05.780M
2198LMGTE AmAston Martin Racing
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Paul DALLA LANA
Pedro LAMY
Mathias LAUDA
30 Laps1622'07.575D
2261LMGTE AmClearwater Racing
Ferrari 488 GTE
Weng Sun MOK
Keita SAWA
Matt GRIFFIN
30 Laps1622'07.599M
2354LMGTE AmSpirit of Race
Ferrari 488 GTE
Thomas FLOHR
Francesco CASTELLACCI
Miguel MOLINA
33 Laps1592'07.081M
2477LMGTE AmDempsey - Proton Racing
Porsche 911 RSR (991)
Christian RIED
Matteo CAIROLI
Marvin DIENST
44 Laps1482'08.897D
86LMGTE AmGulf Racing UK
Porsche 911 RSR (991)
Michael WAINWRIGHT
Benjamin BARKER
Nicholas FOSTER
100 Laps922'08.909D
25LMP2CEFC Manor TRS Racing
Oreca 07 - Gibson
Roberto GONZALEZ
Simon TRUMMER
Vitaly PETROV
141 Laps511'57.646D

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