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Friday, April 12, 2024

Toyota mustn’t get “overexcited” after entrance row in WEC Qatar qualifying

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Floury made the comment after new recruit Nyck de Vries finished just 0.146s off pole position within the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID in Friday afternoon’s Hyperpole qualifying on the Losail Worldwide Circuit.

“Tyre utilization is actually difficult on our facet,” he mentioned. “On this observe and with the load we’re having right here, it’s actually tough.

“It will likely be tough within the race as effectively. We must always not get overexcited by the quali consequence. We now have to give attention to the race.”

Toyota had struggled for tempo within the lead-up to the Qatar 1812Km, the opening spherical of the 2024 WEC season, with tyre graining significantly holding again its two LMH vehicles within the Prologue check.

It appeared to show a nook with its race simulation in Thursday apply, however its final tempo remained a query mark till de Vries plucked a 1m39.511s flier out of the bag to seize second on the grid behind the polesitting #5 Porsche of Daytona 24 Hours winner Matt Campbell.

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“I believe we have now all been shocked as a result of we did not anticipate to do such a laptime,” Floury mentioned. “We had made some bets earlier than the quali session. 

“Expectations have been removed from this. Nobody will win that one, for positive.”

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

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Nonetheless, it wasn’t all celebrations for WEC’s powerhouse squad, with Brendon Hartley within the sister #8 automobile failing to progress past Q1 and ending up eleventh on the timesheets.

Floury revealed that each GR010 HYBRIDs ran the identical set-up and tyre compound in qualifying, however the “knife-edge” nature of the Michelin rubber meant that Hartley was a second off the tempo of his Toyota stablemate.

“We have been getting ready for the race, not a lot for pure lap time,” Floury defined.

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“Whether or not [or not] it’s associated to the tyres right here, we had one automobile that ended fairly effectively and one which struggled.

“It’s actually a tiny window, like a knife edge. We now have one second between the 2 vehicles. It’s how the tyres behave.”

Floury mentioned Toyota has made tangible steps in ironing out a few of the graining points it encountered earlier within the week, however nonetheless continues to battle with tyre degradation.

Requested if the observe evolution from the beginning of the week has diminished the tyre graining on the automobile, Floury mentioned: “We nonetheless have it. We now have tried to place as a lot rubber we may this week. We maintain doing that in the course of the race I hope.

“We now have progressed because the observe developed, we made progress as effectively. As we run we perceive higher the working level, however it’s nonetheless a knife edge.”

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