After a 10-week break, the FIA World Endurance Championship is back for Round 4, the 6 Hours of São Paulo in Brazil. Click through the break to catch all the latest news, views and pictures from Interlagos.
– Free Practice Report
– Friday Gallery
– New aero package
– Qualifying Report
– Saturday Gallery
– Live Stream
– Race Report
– Sunday Gallery
– “The Ultimate Endurance Race” Short Film
Free Practice – Friday, August 30
Updated: 31/08/13 13:30 CET
TOYOTA Racing arrived at Interlagos with the #8 TS030 HYBRID of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Stéphane Sarrazin – whose last race saw them stand on the podium in second place after an emotional Le Mans 24 Hours in June. Our decision to run just one car is so that we could make best use of our available resources. Since the rules of 2014 FIA WEC will be changing, we need our #7 drivers, Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre, to work on the development of their next year’s car.
Friday morning at Interlagos was dry and sunny with air temperature starting at around 19°C, reaching 23°C by the end of the 1.5-hour session. Track temperature remained at a cool range of 18°C throughout the session.
Anthony went out on track as the green flags were waved to start the session. For the early part of the session, Anthony kept the #8 on the tarmac to stay within the top two places before setting a blistering time on lap 29 of 1:21.881 – the only driver to set a time under 1min22s. At the end of the session, our gap to the next car was 0.8s. The sub 1min22s lap time also represented an average speed of nearly 190km/h around the 4.309km Autódromo José Carlos Pace, and already faster than last year’s pole position time (set by our #7 car).
The team arrived at São Paulo with a new updated aero package. This comes as the remaining races of the 2013 FIA WEC are all higher downforce circuits compared to Le Mans, with its long straights. Read more about our aero package update here. Our updates were also not just skin-deep. The TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing powertrain has been reverted to a sprint setting after the endurance race at Le Mans.
With 10min remaining in the session, Stéphane relieved Anthony behind the wheel to take the chequered flag at the end of the session. When he got out of the car, Anthony told us: “the car has a good balance and the grip level was good.” Anthony’s time from FP1 was the fastest of the day.
Stéphane was first in the cockpit when the second free practice session began. The team focussed on endurance testing which nevertheless saw the #8 car with good pace to end the session in P3 with a session-fastest time of 1:22.675 set by Sébastien Buemi on his final flying lap at the close of the session. Of our three drivers, Sébastien has the most recent experience at Interlagos having completed the F1 Brazilian GP three times in 2009-2011.
Here’s what our drivers had to say after the Friday sessions:
We’ll be back on track for final Free Practice between 10:20-11:20 (local time) on Saturday before the 25 minute qualifying session starting at 15:10 (local).
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Updated: 31/08/13 18:30 CET
Qualifying – Saturday, August 31
Updated: 31/08/13 22:30 CET
We’ll start tomorrow’s 6 Hours of São Paulo from third place on the grid after a close qualifying session. Anthony and Sébastien drove the #8 TS030 HYBRID in the 25-minute session, with Stéphane Sarrazin sitting out this session. The pair came within 0.277sec of pole position on their way to a second-row start.
Sébastien was the first TOYOTA Racing driver on track and he set two lap times before handing over to Anthony. His session was frustrated by yellow flags at the start of what would have been his third and final flying lap. A red flag for debris on the track then effectively ended the session prematurely, with three minutes on the clock.
Earlier in the day, Anthony and Sébastien were also at the wheel for the third and final Free Practice which, despite a short red flag interruption, ran smoothly and saw the #8 classified second.
Updated: 31/08/13 18:30 CET
Race Day – Sunday, September 1
Updated: 02/09/13 12:00 CET
After a clean start to the 6 Hours of São Paulo, the race ended all too quickly unfortunately for TOYOTA Racing. On lap 25, just over 30 minutes in, the #32 Lotus LMP2 of Dominik Kraihamer made contact with Stéphane at Turn 3 as our #8 TS030 HYBRID was making its way around the lapped car. The incident ended with both cars in the wall. Despite his valiant effort to remove broken body panels, Stéphane was forced to retire from the race before we reached the one-hour mark.
Here’s what Anthony had to say after the incident on Radio Le Mans:
6 Hours of São Paulo Highlights
Updated: 01/09/13 21:30 CET
“The Ultimate Endurance Race” Short Film
Petros Miliopoulos : A real shame on how quickly the race ended for Toyota.
Wish you all the best of luck in the future.
Danny Chen : Thank you! Keep your fingers crossed for Round 5 in Austin, Texas