TOYOTA GAZOO Racing have made a significant start as it targets a fourth consecutive FIA World Endurance Championship victory at the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Following their three consecutive victories at the end of last season, Toyota returned to competitive action for the first time since November, with two 90-minute free practice sessions at a warm & dry Spa-Francorchamps.
The #7 TS050 HYBRID of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López set the fastest time of the day of 1 min 56.172 secs with Mike Conway at the wheel. That was 0.643secs quicker than Kazuki Nakajima’s fastest time in the #8 car he shares with fellow 2017 Spa winner Sébastien Buemi and WEC rookie Fernando Alonso.
Mike Conway was happy to be back on track in the Toyota TS050, “It’s good to be back at one of the best tracks in the world; the car really feels alive around here. It went well today, and we saw good improvement from first practice in terms of track and car evolution.
“The car felt quite good but we can still improve so we will be hard at work on a few things to be in the best possible shape for the rest of the weekend.”
Japanese veteran Kamui Kobayashi added, “It’s nice to get the season started, especially at a great track like Spa. We had a typical practice day; we tested a few things and made some improvements to the balance.
“We know our car very well, but there are always things to improve so we will be working to find more performance before the race. It’s a positive start, and I’m looking forward to continuing that.”
Former Formula E driver and LMP1 rookie José María López said, “We have been waiting a long time for the start of the season, so it’s very nice to be back at a race event. It was my first experience of this car at Spa, and I really enjoyed it.
“We made a big improvement during the day after working on correlating what we’ve done in testing with the specifics of this track. I feel happy and comfortable with the car, so I’m looking forward to the race.”
The challenge for Toyota now is to begin to make consistently fast laps throughout the remaining free practice session ahead of qualifying later today.