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Live Blog – 6 Hours of Shanghai

Posted by: on November 8th, 2013 3 Comments

TS030 HYBRId back in China

We head to China for the penultimate race of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship season. Click through the break to follow TOYOTA Racing this weekend.

- Preview
- Free Practice 1
- Free Practice 2
- Qualifying
- Race
- Race Highlights
- Twitter Updates

 

 

 

 


Preview

Updated: 08/11/13 01:30 CET

Smoggy Shanghai International Circuit

Two TS030 HYBRIDs will participate, with Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre defending their Shanghai crown from 2012 in the #7 car as Kazuki Nakajima is on Super Formula duty.

Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Stéphane Sarrazin, ever-present so far in 2013, return in the #8.

That two-car line-up delivered an extremely competitive performance throughout the Six Hours of Fuji last month, although the #7’s first place in the came without a racing lap due to terrible weather conditions.

Better weather is expected for this weekend’s race, taking place at the Shanghai International Circuit, a 5.451km track on the outskirts of the city which was completed in 2004.

It features four designated hybrid braking zones – the same as Austin and Fuji – where the drivers benefit from 300hp of acceleration boost from the TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing.

The drivers get their first chance to experience that hybrid power when practice begins on Friday at 08.00 local time, with a second two-hour session following at midday.

The compact two-day race weekend sees qualifying at 16.35 on Friday with the race starting at 11.00 on Saturday.

“In China last year we did a perfect job and got the reward; a victory. The set-up was amazing and the tyre durability was key to the win. With the tough competition this year we need to get everything spot on to win again. It will be a big help to have both cars available for set-up and tyre work in free practice, sharing the work and information. It’s always nice to stand on the top step of the podium, but it felt strange in Fuji after no proper racing laps. So hopefully we have a dry weekend in China and a great fight. I call for maximum attack in Shanghai with one goal only; to win.”
- Alex

 

“Last year we had great performance in Shanghai in the last race of 2012. There are still two races to go in the 2013 season and my target is to again finish on a high. First place in Fuji was a good start but the most satisfying aspect of the weekend was our competitiveness in the dry sessions. We proved we can really fight with Audi and it was only disappointing that we could not show that in the race due to the weather. That is our target in Shanghai; we’ll be giving everything to come out on top.”
- Nicolas

 

“I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel again; it’s much more fun to be racing the TS030 HYBRID than watching it on TV. Fuji is an important race for the team as there are a lot of TOYOTA employees and fans, so it is always a busy weekend. It’s hard for me to predict how the race weekend will go but we will give it our best to defend last year’s victory despite the strong competition we can expect. Certainly there will be a lot of work for us to do in the first practice sessions to get familiar with the updated post-Le Mans package and to optimise it for Fuji. I’m ready for the challenge and ready to race.”
- Alex

 

“It’s my first time to race an LMP1 car in Shanghai but I have plenty of experience from my F1 days so it will be good to be there again. Fuji was an incredibly frustrating experience all round for our car; due to the pre-race delay we lost a lap then the weather prevented us showing the car’s true pace. But Shanghai is another race and we are determined to return to the front. Based on our performance level in Japan, I am sure we can take the fight to Audi and I’m looking to get a win for TOYOTA Racing before the end of the season.”
- Anthony

 

“It’s my first time to race an LMP1 car in Shanghai but I have plenty of experience from my F1 days so it will be good to be there again. Fuji was an incredibly frustrating experience all round for our car; due to the pre-race delay we lost a lap then the weather prevented us showing the car’s true pace. But Shanghai is another race and we are determined to return to the front. Based on our performance level in Japan, I am sure we can take the fight to Audi and I’m looking to get a win for TOYOTA Racing before the end of the season.”
- Sébastien

 

“In Fuji we had a strong car and all drivers were very happy with the balance and the set-up; it was the best we have had all year. That made it even more frustrating that we could not show our speed in the race. Our challenge in Shanghai is to again get the car to this level where we can race for victory. It is a different circuit, one which I really enjoy, so we need to make some adjustments to get the right balance. We will work hard on this during Friday’s long practice sessions and I am sure we can get there.”
- Stéphane

Guess who’s best at bowling…?

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Free Practice 1

Updated: 08/11/13 03:00 CET

TS030 HYBRID flying past

Friday’s three sessions started with the two-hour Free Practice 1 at 08:00 local time (01:00 CET) under smoggy conditions at Shanghai International Circuit. The first session was dry which started with air temperature at 17°C air temp, track temperature at 19°C and 85% humidity.

Nicolas and Sébastien were first in the #7 and #8 TS030 HYBRID respectively. Sébastien handed over to Anthony after his stint just under an hour into the session. Both cars started with their first timed laps placed in P2 and P3 at the start of the session.

After a long stint for Nicolas of around 1hr30min, he the #7 car to Alex having set the fourth best time of the session. With 30min left of the session, Anthony handed the #8 over to Stéphane in P2 for his first stint on track this weekend.

At the end of the first session of the two-day race weekend, #7 finished in P4 with 1:48.566, +1.1s from lead while #8 finished in P2 with 1:47.849, +0.4s from the lead. Car #7 completed 44 laps, #8 46 laps during the session.

Tune in again for Free Practice 2 at 12:00 local (05:00 CET) followed by LMP1/2 Qualifying at 16:35 local (09:35 CET).

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Free Practice 2

Updated: 08/11/13 08:30 CET

Close quarter racing

Alex and Stéphane continued from where they left off in FP1 and headed back out on track when the green flag fell for Free Practice 2, the final practice session for this race meeting. The conditions are now a little warmer and brighter than earlier in the morning with both air and track temperatures around 22°C with 58% humidity.

Stéphane quickly moved into P1 after the first timed lap with Alex moving into P3. Both cars settled into P2 and P3 after the initial laps.

Just after the 30min mark in the session, a “Home of Quattro” banner falling on track in danger of falling on track caused a half an hour red flag suspension. As the cars headed back out on track, Anthony’s #8 was involved in an incident with #31 Lotus of Weeda causing minor damage. It appears the Lotus brake tested at the exit of the corner leaving Anthony with no place to go but into the Lotus.

In the mean time, the session has been extended by 20min.

Anthony came back out on track with an hour left of the extended session before the session was red flagged again for another car off track which needed to be recovered. With just over 50min left of the session, track action was again resumed.

The session ended with #7 in P3 with 1:49.549 after 49 laps, gap +0.6s, and #8 in P2 with 1:49.302 after 48 laps, gap +0.9s.

The stewards decided to disqualify the time set by #1 Audi thereby promoting our cars to P1 and P2 (#8 and #7 cars respectively).

Next session is LMP1/2 Qualifying starting at 16:35 local (09:35 CET).

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Qualifying

Updated: 08/11/13 13:30 CET

Qualifying is about to start for LMP1/2 cars. Here’s a quick reminder of how the qualifying format works for those who are new to FIA WEC. Two nominated drivers must set minimum two laps each. The starting grid for tomorrow’s race is based on the average of the four total fastest laps.

It was Alex and Stéphane first out to lay down some lap times for the #7 and #8 cars respectively. After the first two fastest timed laps set, #7 sits in P1 while #8 in P3 with average times of 1:47.655 and 1:48.476 respectively.

Nicolas and Sébastien took over from their team mates to set their own times next. Nicolas set two consistent 1min48.3sec lap times to set the four lap average at 1:48.013 which proved unassailable by our competition in the end to take an impressive pole position. Sébastien in the #8 set a 1min48sec and 1min49sec to go P3 with a 1:48.694 average time, 0.6sec from the lead.

So, provisionally, we will start tomorrow’s six-hour race from pole and P3!

Toyota News – POLE POSITION FOR TOYOTA RACING IN SHANGHAI

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Race

Updated: 09/11/13 10:15 CET

We’re about to head off for the formation lap for today’s six-hour race in Shanghai. There’s a good crowd at the circuit and we’re expecting a dry race. Watch the race broadcast live below.

Nicolas and Anthony started in their respective #7 and #8 cars from pole and second row. All cars started the race cleanly with Nicolas pulling away after Turn 1 while Anthony attempted an overtake for P2 just a short distance behind.

Anthony dived down the inside of a series of corners to make the move stick on lap 10 for a TOYOTA Racing 1-2 in China. Replay showed that Anthony seemed to have made a little contact with #2 Audi, both cars running OK on track.

On laps 24 and 25 all the leading runners pitted for fuel and tyres – same tyres used since Qualifying yesterday. After the first round of stops, track order changed for TOYOTA Racing with Anthony now leading Nicolas on track with just 2sec between then on lap 27.

After the first hour completed, the gap between our drivers remained around 1-2sec after 31 laps. Gap between leading #8 to P3 Audi now extended to over 1min.

On laps 49 and 50, #8 and #7 cars pitted from P1 and P2 respectively for a full service stop and driver change. Sébastien took over from Anthony in #8 and Alex from Nicolas in #7. The cars returned on track in the same order.

Two hours into the race and TOYOTA Racing still commands a convincing 1-2 lead over the pack. Sébastien’s #8 car leads Alex’s #7 car by 3.6sec after 63 laps. Both cars have performed two scheduled stops so far. The leaders are pulling away further from the competition, now around 1min10sec.

Third round of stops came on laps 76 and 77 for #8 and #7 cars respectively. Full service petrol and tyre stops and both cars returned on track in the same order as before.

On lap 79, #8 Sébastien put a full lap on #1 Audi in P3#2 Audi in P4.

Half-way through the race, 95 laps completed. #8 car of Sébastien leads #7 of Alex by 19sec.

#8 pitted from lead on lap 96 where Sébastien handed the car over to Stéphane for his first stint in the race today. The earlier stop was due to on-board sensors indicating a slow puncture.

Car #7 pits for the fourth scheduled stop on lap 103 for a full service and driver change for Nicolas to take over.

After the fourth round of stops, car #8 regains the lead with #7 in P2.

Fifth round of stops on lap 122 and 129 for #8 and #7 respectively. Anthony took over from Stéphane in the leading #8 car. Position swap in between, but returned to status quo after both cars have stopped. Under two hours left of the race.

Toyota News – TOYOTA RACING DENIED IN SHANGHAI

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Race Highlights

Updated: 11/11/13 09:00 CET

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Live Coverage on @Toyota_Hybrid Twitter


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3 Comments

  1. Peter Miliopoulos says:

    What a race!!!!!
    Up until the tire puncture on car No.7 I thought it was going to be a 1-2 finish for Toyota.
    That’s racing I guess, congratulations nevertheless to the team on a fantastic performance.
    The best of luck in Bahrain.

  2. Will there be 2 car participating in Bahrain or only 1?