Live Blog: 6 Hours of São Paulo
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TS030 HYBRID in Brazil

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

Sunny Friday at Interlagos

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.

Friday’s pace setter

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:

“I am happy with the car today. The car had a good balance and the grip level was good. It felt pretty much identical to how it did at the last test. We went through a tyre programme in the morning which again replicated what we learned in Lausitzring. I feel like we are quite a good position in terms of correlation to our test so I am happy with our day. We focused on tyres mainly but we also rebalanced the car after the first few runs, modifying ride heights. We altered the mechanical balance and made it more driver-friendly, especially through traffic.”
– Anthony

 

“It was a positive day today and nice to be back at a race weekend with TOYOTA Racing after a long break. Interlagos is a short circuit; obviously there are a lot of cars on the track so traffic management is very important here. We had a very good first free practice then we learned a few things in the second session. We have to evolve the set-up with the conditions; the weather is getting hotter so we have to find the right set-up for that. It’s going to be a close fight and based on today it looks like we will be part of an exciting race on Sunday.”
– Sébastien

 

“Today has gone very well and I am pleased with our performance. We spent the day preparing for the race and I did a very long run in the afternoon. The car feels good and I think our package looks pretty strong. This morning Anthony drove for most of the session and he was happy; this afternoon Sébastien is also happy. It was my first time to drive the updated car and I think the team did a great job with it. We can still improve the set-up and we will try to do this tomorrow before qualifying but nevertheless it’s a good start to our weekend.”
– Stéphane

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).

TOYOTA Racing joins the FIA WEC fraternity to pay tribute to the late Allan Simonsen

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Friday Gallery


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New aero package

Updated: 31/08/13 18:30 CET

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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.

“We had a nicely-balanced car again so in terms of ultimate lap time that was the best we could manage. We are a tiny bit off but pole position is never essential; the most important thing is we have a good balance for the race. It was a bit frustrating that on my last flying lap I arrived into turn one and saw a yellow flag, so I had to settle for the time I had done previously which I know I could have beaten. But third is where we were today in terms of genuine pace. It’s good to be a lot closer than we have been all season; we feel we can fight for victory tomorrow.”
– Anthony

 

“Obviously I’m a little bit disappointed to be just a couple of tenths behind the two Audis but this is how it is. We think we have a good shot in the race tomorrow; the car felt good and we have a strong race set-up. I am quite happy with our performance because we didn’t do mistakes. We also improved the lap time from this year to last year. It is one second quicker which shows positive progress and we can be quite happy with that. We have to see how the race will go with strategy and traffic but everything is possible.”
– Sébastien

 

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Saturday Gallery

Updated: 31/08/13 18:30 CET

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Live Stream

Via FIAWEC


FIA WEC – LIVE by fiawec

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Race Day – Sunday, September 1

Updated: 02/09/13 12:00 CET

Stéphane working to get back to pits after incident

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.

 

“I was doing my race and I was lapping the LMP2 car. He lost control of his car and crashed into me. What can I do?”
– Stéphane

Here’s what Anthony had to say after the incident on Radio Le Mans:

“It’s heartbreaking to see for all the team because we came here believing this would be our strongest chance. We really felt we had a good race package.”
– Anthony

6 Hours of São Paulo Highlights

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Sunday Gallery

Updated: 01/09/13 21:30 CET

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“The Ultimate Endurance Race” Short Film

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2 Comments

  1. Petros Miliopoulos : A real shame on how quickly the race ended for Toyota.
    Wish you all the best of luck in the future.

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