Toyota GAZOO Racing couldn’t get the results they wanted yesterday at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, a race dominated by Audi and Porsche.
The disappointment started on Thursday when Kazuki Nakajima suffered a fractured vertebra during an accident in practice.
The lead Toyota TS040 HYBRID was the #2 car of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway, which finished fifth. The world champion car, the #1 of Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi had technical problems and finished 8th.
At the race start, Buemi was 6th, with Wurz 7th, and the latter battled up the field to fourth position at turn one, before slipping back through the field.
Electrical problems for the #1 caused two pitstops, costing over 20 minutes, and pushing the car back to 14th.
Anthony Davidson and Alex Wurz took their cars to the finish line, with Davison still trying to get past the LMP2 cars. The #2 car finished 5th, with the #1 making its way back up to 8th.
“It was a disappointing day to cap a rough week for car #1 which started with Kazuki’s crash,” said Davidson. “We had some technical problems and a weekend to forget. The next race is the most important one of the year so we will stay focused and look for more performance.”
“It has been one of our worst weekends to be honest; it’s been a long time since we were not on the podium,” said a frustrated Buemi. “We had problems in the race and we were not quick enough. We have to go home and try to find some lap time. We will continue to push and do the best we can.”
“We did the best job we could and fifth was the maximum we could do,” commented Conway. “It’s a few more points for us but the next race is Le Mans, which is the big one. We just have to get our heads down and keep working away to prepare the most competitive package we can for Le Mans.”
The next race on the calendar is the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13/14, where Toyota will try and get an important win, despite only entering two cars.