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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Conway concedes WEC title possibilities for #7 Toyota crew after Le Mans DNF

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The non-score at Le Mans for #7, which resulted from Kobayashi being hit by two automobiles as he decreased pace for an 80km/h Gradual Zone, adopted a problem with one of the official series sensors on their GR010 at the Portimao round in April. That restricted them to ninth place and solely two factors.

Conway believes that the 41-point hole to the sister #8 Toyota GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar pushed by Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa is simply too huge to realistically overcome over the ultimate three races, which start this weekend with the Monza 6 Hours.

“Until #8 has a whole catastrophe for the remainder of the season, I don’t assume we’re going to win the championship,” he informed Autosport.

“After what occurred at Le Mans, the world championship appears out of attain this season for our automotive sadly. However to attempt to get second or third is one thing we will goal for.”

The crew of the #7 Toyota lies fifth within the Hypercar championship, just one level behind Ferrari drivers Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina and 4 in arrears of the Cadillac trio of Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook.

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The Le Mans-winning Ferrari 499P LMH line-up of Antonio Giovinazzi, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi is an extra 12 factors away in second place, 25 factors behind Buemi and his team-mates.

Conway, Kobayashi and Lopez are the one Hypercar line-up to have received twice this yr, at Sebring after which Spa, however as a result of double factors are on supply at Le Mans their championship possibilities have successfully been torpedoed.

“It might probably actually skew the championship; the entire double-points factor for Le Mans is a bit annoying,” he mentioned.

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 – Hybrid of Mike Conway

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“Once they pulled again from that, it made the championship way more thrilling.”

Factors and a half had been awarded for the 2 editions of Le Mans included into the 2018/19 WEC ‘superseason’, which meant 38 fairly than 50 factors for victory.

The truth that a repeat of the 2019/20 and 2021 titles for Conway, Kobayashi and Lopez is now successfully out of attain “solely simplifies the duty for the remaining three races”, added the Briton.

“We wish to rack up extra wins this season, beginning at Monza, and we might be pushing onerous to get again on the highest step of the rostrum,” he mentioned.

Conway conceded, nonetheless, that the #7 Toyota could should play a back-up function to spice up the championship possibilities of the drivers within the sister automotive.

“We’d have to assist them out as a lot as we will,” he defined.

“They’ve an excellent likelihood to win it and clearly we’ll assist them in the event that they want it.”

Learn Additionally:

Kobayashi, who can be crew principal of the Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC squad, mentioned that after the frustration of Le Mans the crew’s “huge precedence now could be to win each world championships”.

Perception: Could ‘unfair politics’ at Le Mans benefit Toyota in the long run?

Toyota, which has received three of the 4 WEC rounds to date this yr, leads the producers’ standings by 18 factors from Ferrari.

Free observe for the Monza 6 Hours, spherical 5 of the 2023 WEC, begins at 11:30 native time on Friday.



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