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Monday, February 26, 2024

Toyota “on the again foot” for WEC Spa after follow points, Hartley crash

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Pascal Vasselon, Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director, described the opening two days of the Spa 6 Hours assembly “as not our greatest race weekend up to now”, regardless of Kamui Kobayashi taking pole position in the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID.

Vasselon defined that the shortage of working for its pair of Le Mans Hypercars in the course of the trio of free follow classes will compromise its race.

“Ranging from Free Follow 1, we misplaced fairly a little bit of time due to a system concern,” he stated.

“This has actually put us on the again foot.

“This yr the tyres are so totally different in contrast with final yr’s [as a result on the ban on pre-heating] that solely the check classes with the 2023 rubber matter and we didn’t check right here.

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“We wanted to run right here and due to this concern in FP1 and the excessive variety of pink flags [through free practice] we couldn’t run a lot one way or the other.”

Michelin has been granted permission to produce all three 2023 specs of slick tyre at Spa quite than the 2 usually made accessible to the Hypercar groups for a daily WEC spherical.

Vasselon stated that Toyota remained “in need of mileage to make an informed tyre selection” between the totally different specs for the race.

Hartley’s accident on his outlap in qualifying within the #8 Toyota will lead to a compromised tyre technique for the automobile he shares with Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa, in response to Vasselon.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 – Hybrid: Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa

Photograph by: Paul Foster

The incident wherein Hartley spun on chilly rubber on the prime of Raidillon resulted in quite a lot of flat-spotted tyres, which will be unable for use within the six-hour race.

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A complete of 18 tyres are allotted to every automobile for qualifying and the race, and the accident implies that #8 might probably have as few as 14 accessible for the six hours.

“We nonetheless don’t know what number of tyres have been flat noticed as a result of we haven’t recovered the automobile but,” Vasselon stated within the speedy aftermath of qualifying on Friday.

“If now we have misplaced 4 tyres it is going to be extraordinarily tough to handle seven stints with three and a half units.”

The #8 will begin from thirty sixth place on the 38-car grid after failing to set a time in qualifying.

Vasselon defined that the software program points that restricted Toyota’s working on Thursday had been linked to new techniques demanded for this race by rulemakers the FIA and the Car Membership de l’Ouest.

“We had a number of new controls requested by the FIA and ACO, and one in every of these didn’t go nicely – it’s our fault,” he stated.

He careworn that the brand new techniques weren’t linked to the introduction of new procedures put in place to allow a car to keep running within the occasion of a driveshaft torque sensor failing.

The #8 Toyota managed solely 18 laps in opening follow and #7 19. That in contrast with the 29 laps accomplished by every of the 2 Ferrari 499P LMHs.

The Spa 6 Hours, spherical three of the 2023 WEC, begins at 12:45 native time.

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