Engine issues denies #5 Toyota Spa victory

Technical gremlins on the #5 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima ended the trio’s chances of victory during the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday.

The trio had a comfortable lead at two-thirds distance only for an engine failure see the car enter the pit lane to retire whilst at the hands of Japanese racer Nakajima, allowing the #8 Audi to ultimately take victory.

“A difficult day for us,” reflected Nakajima. “I think we did everything right in terms of tyre choice, downforce level and strategy.

“The positive side is that we were really competitive and we showed we can fight. But it’s disappointing to end like this, because it was a great chance to win. I feel sorry for all the team.”

Davidson was also naturally disappointed with the outcome of the race, especially after the problem that cost them the victory was one the team had never experienced before during the many miles of testing and racing they’ve done with the TS050 Hybrid.

“Obviously it is really disappointing, having looked so good earlier in the race,” said Davidson. “I really feel we deserved it today and it was cruelly taken away due to a problem we have never seen before.

“In all of the kilometres we have done in testing, we have never seen such a problem. Now we have to dust ourselves off and get ready for Le Mans.”

Buemi insists the team can take a lot of positives away from Spa-Francorchamps despite seeing their race end early, with Toyota showing a competitive edge for the first time since 2014.

“We cannot be happy but we have to take the positives,” insisted Buemi. “We were leading the race by a long way and I don’t remember the last time that happened.

“The performance was there and that is the positive out of this weekend. Now we focus on Le Mans and fight back.”