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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Lopez Toyota return at Le Mans “like I had by no means left”

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Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical boss David Floury revealed that the Argentinian was “up to the mark instantly” on his return to the cockpit of the Le Mans Hypercar eventually weekend’s Le Mans Check Day for the primary time because the 2023 World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain.

“By the look of the lap occasions it was like he drove the automobile yesterday,” stated Floury.

“No huge points and clearly motivated like hell — he has labored very onerous to stand up to hurry with all of the automobile methods.

“We are able to already see that he’s up to the mark; we’re fairly assured that there can be no points within the race.”

Lopez’s feedback after ending up tenth within the second of the three-hour Check Day periods on Sunday forward of race week for the blue riband WEC spherical echoed these of Floury.

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“It got here again like I’d by no means left,” stated Lopez, who converted from the Auto Sport Promotion Lexus LMGT3 after Conway needed to withdraw with the accidents sustained in a biking accident final Thursday.

“I used to be pondering as a result of I used to be coming from a slower automobile… nevertheless it’s within the mind, as quickly as you leap in, it’s like bang.

“Lap two I used to be already superb.”

Photograph by: Rainier Ehrhardt

Lopez revealed that he was coaching along with Conway on the time of the accident and that he wasn’t anticipating to get the decision to return to the line-up of the #7 Toyota, which he drove within the WEC with Conway and Kamui Kobayashi from 2017 till his substitute by Nyck de Vries for this season.

Toyota selected to convey him again into the Hypercar line-up reasonably than selling reserve and take a look at driver Ritomo Miyata due to his expertise.

Miyata will make his first Le Mans begin this yr with the Cool Racing LMP2 squad.

Lopez wouldn’t be drawn on whether or not his return to the #7 Toyota could possibly be prolonged to cowl the Interlagos 6 Hours WEC spherical in July.

“I hope for Mike it is just a one-off; Mike is sort of a brother to me,” he stated.

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