24 Hours of Le MansFIA WEC

#7 Toyota On The Pace After Opening Le Mans Qualifying

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The #7 Toyota lies in second in provisional qualifying after the opening session. Photo Credit: Craig Robertson

The #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López lies second after the opening qualifying session at the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Kobayashi, who set pole position at the French circuit 12 months ago, set the car’s fastest lap of the two hour session last night, eventually finishing the session only 0.107s behind its sister #8 car which is currently fastest with two sessions remaining on Thursday.

The Japanese driver said on the car’s pace so far: “I think it went pretty well for us today. My lap wasn’t bad but as usual the traffic is quite difficult. The most important thing was to do a lot of laps and work through our programme for set-up and tyre work.”

“I think we made a strong start but there is more to do so we will look at all the data and try to improve the car for the race.”

Teammate Conway added: “It went pretty well. We got through quite a big programme and we have been just trying to find a good balance; it’s been a positive start. Tonight we focused on the tyres and making the right choice. Our car already feels good but will try to extract a bit more performance and make it better for tomorrow and the race.”

Former WTCC driver López also commented: “Everything went smoothly and both cars did a very good qualifying, so I’m very happy for the team. We were getting a good feeling with the car and everything looks okay, although traffic as always is very hard.”

“I’m very happy with the day. Of course it’s only the beginning and the most important thing is the chequered flag on Sunday at 3pm.”

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