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Kobayashi, Conway deserved Spa victory, admit winners

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Kobayashi, Conway deserved Spa victory, admit winners
By:
Co-author: Jamie Klein
May 7, 2017, 9:26 AM

Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson have admitted that their victory in the WEC 6 Hours of Spa was a fortuitous one, acknowledging that their teammates in the sister Toyota entry deserved to win.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
Sebastien Buemi, Toyota Gazoo Racing
Sébastien Buemi, Toyota Gazoo Racing, Alex Wurz
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, #9 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Yuji Kunimoto, Nicolas Lapierre
#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima

The #7 Toyota car, driven by only Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi following Jose Maria Lopez's withdrawal due to injury, established an early lead in the Belgian race, and at the halfway point seemed well on course for a straightforward victory.

However, it lost out on two poorly-timed full-course yellows in the latter part of the race, giving the sister #8 TS050 Hybrid shared by Buemi, Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima a lead of 40 seconds.

Conway and Kobayashi gradually closed the gap for the rest of the race, with the Japanese driver managing to reduce the deficit to just under two seconds at the chequered flag.

After the race, Buemi conceded that his crew was fortunate and that his teammates deserved the win.

"Today we were not the fastest by far, #7 really would have deserved it, but they lost so much time in the full-course yellow, and we made so much time," said the Swiss driver.

"We never had the pace since Thursday basically, so it is quite impressive that without being the quickest we managed to win. We had a bit of luck; on the other hand last year we were leading by one lap we had an engine failure.

"I think we got the right tyres to start with, I was just not quick enough and Mike [Conway] was really fast, he has been really fast all weekend."

Davidson added: "Certainly we had the luck, and if anyone says that you make your own luck in racing, they can think again - because we clearly had all of the luck.

"All those full-course yellows coming in, not just once but twice, gave us basically a minute advantage overall. That's really where we won the race."

#7 car "screwed" by FCYs

Conway was philosophical in defeat, but believed Lopez's absence helped he and Kobayashi hone the #7 car's set-up in and gain an edge on the #8 car.

"In the first part of the race we were quick and managed to build up a nice lead, but we got screwed with the two full-course yellows just right at the wrong time," Conway explained.

"Me and Kamui had some really good track time, being the two of us out there. That helped, and we just got the car in a really good window and the race pace was spot on really.

"We were out front controlling it, just a bit of bad luck. We gave it everything, even at the end it was very close. But that's racing sometimes."

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