Toyota Gazoo Racing‘s Mike Conway has thanked the Japanese outfits crew for the “great job” that they did in repairing the damage caused by the freak accident involving the #7 TS050 and the #31 Dragonspeed LMP2 car – driven by Roberto González.
Conway was part of the team that set the provisional Pole Position time in Wednesday’s session; with teammate, Kamui Kobayashi, setting a time of 3:17.161 to leave the #7 Toyota on provisional pole.
However, the Japanese driver downplayed the lap, bemoaning the traffic that left him “not to have a clear lap” in the session.
Kobayashi stated, “It wasn’t the best lap as I experienced quite a lot of traffic. It’s a pity not to have a clear lap but the car feels good and I think the time can be improved.
“Qualifying doesn’t mean anything in a 24-hour race so we are just preparing for the race as best we can. The track conditions today probably don’t match what we will face in the race so we still have preparation work to do.”
Yet the session was marred as Conway clashed with the lead LMP2 entry as it was rejoining the track; causing a raft of damage to the front of both cars, in particular, Conway’s Toyota which briefly went airborne.
However, the provisional pole sitters returned to the circuit prior to the climax of the session – gaining much acclaim from Conway.
Conway stated: “It was a pity about the incident because the session had gone really well until then. I slowed down then saw headlights: I tried to pull out of the way but it was difficult to see the car and unfortunately we made contact.
“I’m sorry for the crew that they had a lot of extra work to do, but they did a great job to get the car back out at the end of the session.”
Meanwhile, José María López was pleased with the days’ work, stating “It went well today. I managed to do a good amount of laps, getting used to the traffic and the conditions.”
López also had time to share in some of the ailments that afflicted the sister car, with traffic at the forefront of his mind.
“Traffic this year seems more difficult but it’s the same for the other LMP1 cars and we just have to deal with it and stay patient; it’s a long race.”
Qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans continues tonight, with the second and third segment taking place tonight at the Circuit de la Sarthe.