Toyota Gazoo Racing won’t start as high up the grid as they would have hoped for this year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as they instead decided to focus on refining race set-up during the qualifying sessions.
The two Toyota TS040 Hybrids are set to start 7th and 8th on Saturday afternoon. Stéphane Sarrazin set the fastest time in the #2 car, while Kazuki Nakajima qualified his #1 car in 8th.
“First of all I would like to express our congratulations to Porsche on an impressive pole position,” commented Toshio Sato, Team President. “They were very fast in qualifying and we could not match their pace. Our team has worked professionally to optimise our cars for the race so we tried several set-up changes and looked in detail at the tyre characteristics.
“We will see the results of this work in the race. I expect the gap to be smaller than in qualifying. The team has pushed very hard to be ready for Le Mans and we will use the short time remaining to complete the final preparations and make sure our cars are in the best condition for the weekend. I think it will be a close and exciting race.”
“I think if we really focused on qualifying we could have been quite a bit closer, but that wasn’t the target,” explained Anthony Davidson, of the #1 car. “We have concentrated all through the week on getting a nice balance and I think we have achieved that for the race. I think from the team and drivers side we have done everything we planned to do. I feel good going into the race; now we just have to wait and see how it all unfolds.”
The race will start on Saturday afternoon at 15:00 CEST (14:00 UK time).