It’s déja vu time here at Toyota Racing as we confirm our final driver line-up for the Le Mans 24 Hours – again!
The bad news of Hiroaki Ishiura’s back complaint created a bit of a headache for the team, on top of the huge effort already needed to prepare a replacement monocoque following our testing accident in April.
The work done by TMG’s production department has been heroic and we have produced two new monocoques in record time, but that’s another story.
When the chequered fell at the Nürburgring on Sunday afternoon, both our GAZOO Racing and Toyota Swiss Racing teams erupted with joy, with mechanics and team members hanging over the pit wall to wave our drivers home. The GAZOO Racing Lexus LFA crossed the finish line 15th overall, having started from 32nd place on the grid. Perhaps more importantly, the LFA picked up a class win in the SP8 class. GAZOO Racing Toyota GT86 #166 also picked up a class win in the SP3 class, while #165 finished 3rd. Toyota Swiss Racing Team’s GT86 #200 surged back to claim victory in the V3 class despite losing #201 two hours into the race. More after the break.
It has been rather eventful since my last post. As daylight broke over the Nürburgring, I expected to post something about great sunny day for the remainder of the race. Well, the blue skies turned grey as soon as I looked back out. Then the spittle of rain started splattering across the track. It was unfortunate that GAZOO Racing Lexus LFA just came for a pit stop to put on new slicks and the rain came down as it left the pit lane. In the next hour or two, the LFA changed from slicks to wets to intermediates and back to slicks as the sun did finally come out and the track dried. Lap times fell across the board while the track remained wet. However, the weather here really is ever changing. It’s now pretty hot, and the P4/5 Competizione team’s pit wall says track temperature is around 45°C! More after the break.
The inky black sky has now turned a deep blue tinge. Daylight is approaching. With just under 11 hours to go, we’re past half-way point. In the past three hours or so, the GAZOO Racing team and Toyota Swiss Racing team both made good progress. Everything is currently going smoothly. During the early hours of the morning, I spent some time with the GAZOO mechanics in the garage. I’ve been yawning uncontrollably but I hardly noticed anyone in the team showing even the slightest signs of tiredness. I’m sure they are. In fact, driver Wakisaka-san tweeted that he was still suffering from jet-lag. But, none of that is showing. I know they feel it, but all of them are focussed and clinical in every task they have to perform. You know we talk about training our people in one of the harshest motorsport environments possible? You can really see that all of them are taking up this challenge and getting on with it, with absolute professionalism. Latest result update after the break.