Wet work for Toyota Gazoo Racing in China

Wet work for Toyota Gazoo Racing in China

16.11.2018: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing braved the inclement Chinese weather to make a productive start to preparations for the 6 Hours of Shanghai, the fifth round of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing braved the inclement Chinese weather to make a productive start to preparations for the 6 Hours of Shanghai, the fifth round of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
 


Regular periods of rain created challenging conditions for all cars, while recent adjustments to the balance of performance in LMP1 made for a close battle in the fastest lap standings at this early stage in the final WEC race weekend of 2018.
 


The changing weather meant that the #8 TS050 HYBRID of World Championship leaders Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso set the fastest lap of the day, in slightly drier conditions and on hybrid intermediate tyres at the end of first practice.
 


Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López, winners last time out in Fuji, recorded the quickest lap of a wet afternoon session in their #7 TS050 HYBRID on wet tyres.
 



With more fuel available for this race, plus the fuel and weight advantages imposed for the last race in Fuji, the non-hybrid cars showed strong performance potential and the top four cars were separated by only 0.676secs in second practice.
 



Friday started earlier than normal for the LMP1 teams, with a tyre testing session beginning at 8am to allow the non-hybrid teams track time with various options from the Michelin range. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing took the opportunity for one hour of the 105-minute session to sample the track in damp conditions.
 


The weather was dictating proceedings, with continuous light rain and low temperatures throughout the morning creating a wet track for first practice, with conditions improving towards the end to allow a few laps on hybrid intermediate tyres.
 


Sébastien was the first LMP1 driver to make the switch to hybrid intermediates and this immediately rewarded him with significantly faster lap times, leaving him on top of the standings when the chequered flag flew.
 



But lap times were not the primary focus of any of today’s action; the team focused its efforts on fine-tuning the aerodynamic, mechanical and hybrid settings for the specific demands of the 5.451km Shanghai circuit and that effort continued during a wet second practice.
 


Again conditions improved marginally towards the end of the session and José recorded the quickest time in the closing minutes on wet tyres, although that was nevertheless more than six seconds slower than the morning session due to the conditions.
 



The action continues on Saturday with final practice and qualifying, while the six-hour race starts at 11am local time on Sunday.
 



Free practice 1 results:



1st  #8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing                         1min 54.768secs             39 laps
2nd #7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing                         +1.586secs                     37 laps
3rd  #17 SMP (Sarrazin/Orudhez/Isaakyan)         +4.112secs                     33 laps
4th  #4 ByKolles (Webb/Dillmann/Rossiter)          +4.151secs                    23 laps
5th  #3 Rebellion (Beche/Laurent/Menezes)         +4.364secs                    31 laps
6th  #1 Rebellion (Jani/Lotterer/Senna)               +4.471secs                    31 laps
 




Free practice 2 results:



1st  #7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing                          2min 02.259secs           32 laps
2nd #8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing                          +0.245secs                   35 laps
3rd  #3 Rebellion (Beche/Laurent/Menezes)         +0.414secs                   35 laps
4th  #1 Rebellion (Jani/Lotterer/Senna)                +0.676secs                  28 laps
5th  #11 SMP (Aleshin/Petrov/Button)                 +1.389secs                   30 laps
6th  #17 SMP (Sarrazin/Orudzhev/Isaakyan)        +2.329secs                   29 laps
 


 
Alastair Moffitt,  Stephan Lesuisse, photos Toyota


Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/toyota-gazoo-racing-wet-china---183451.html

16.11.2018 / MaP

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