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Friday, June 21, 2024

#8 Toyota acquired “huge injury” from squirrel hit at Le Mans

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Within the sixteenth hour of the race, Ryo Hirakawa was seen quickly dropping time to the chasing #51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi, the Japanese driver’s total 12s benefit being worn out in the midst of a single stint.

When Hirakawa introduced the #8 Toyota again into the pits, the workforce was compelled to vary your entire front-end of the automotive, permitting the #51 Ferrari that had stopped on the similar time to maneuver into the lead.

The #8 Toyota shared by Hirakawa, Brendon Hartley and Sebastien Buemi remained within the hunt for victory regardless of that setback, even buying and selling positions with the Ferrari after it stalled within the pits afterward, however the GR010 Hybrid wasn’t in a position to match the tempo of the 499P thereafter, with a spin for Hirakawa in the penultimate hour sealing the deal for the Italian marque.

Talking after Toyota’s first defeat at Circuit de la Sarthe since 2017, technical director Pascal Vasselon defined that Hirakawa’s tempo was severely compromised when he ran over a “not a really small” squirrel. 

“There have been some home windows the place we have been generally dominating Ferrari,” he stated. “There’s a logic behind that. 

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“Simply after one in every of these moments the place we have been aggressive, Ryo has hit a squirrel. It was in all probability not a really small one as a result of it has accomplished huge injury to the entrance finish. 

“He was in hassle till the tip of the stint after we might change the entrance finish.”

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 – Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

The #7 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez retired from the race when Kobayashi was unfortunate to be concerned in a incident with the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Louis Prette and the #35 Alpine LMP2 automotive of Memo Rojas at Tertre Rouge through the evening.

Based on Vasselon, Toyota confronted the potential of neither of its vehicles making it to the end, with the engine temperature on the #8 GR010 HYBRID rising abnormally through the evening because of particles blockading the cooling areas.

“At that second, we actually thought we’d lose the 2 vehicles as a result of, on the similar time [as Kobayashi’s incident], we had the engine temperature going sky excessive on the #8,” he defined.

“We had no indication of what was occurring. There was nothing seen from outdoors. The aero figures have been good. 

“We determined to take away the entrance finish, change it and take a look. There was an enormous piece of Kevlar which was caught inboard of the suspension, however blocking the circulation of the cooler. We might take away it and hold going.”

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