Lopez: Spa WEC race conditions “like a horror movie”

Jose Maria Lopez described watching his Toyota teammates on track in Saturday’s incident-packed Spa round of the FIA World Endurance Championship as “like a horror movie”.

Lopez: Spa WEC race conditions “like a horror movie”
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Lopez said he had the “easiest part” after taking over the Toyota GR010 Hybrid for the run to the flag as the reigning world champions claimed victory in a race interrupted by heavy rain, three red flags, six safety cars and five Full Course Yellows.

“Watching the inboards and hearing the radio from the garage was really tough,” said Lopez, who completed a 27-second victory over the Alpine A480-Gibson after taking over for the final 80 minutes of the Spa 6 Hours.

“There were points in the race where Mike and Kamui looked like passengers in the car; there was so much aquaplaning, it was extreme at times.

“To watch from outside, it was like a horror movie.”

“It was tough to watch, but it must have been even tougher in the car.”

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Conway, who was in the #7 Toyota when the rain arrived in the second hour of the race, admitted that it was difficult to keep the car on the track when the conditions were at their worst.

“Some of the wet running was really treacherous, a lot of standing water, just hard to keep it on the road,” he said.

“It was really tough, but we hung in there, didn’t make any mistakes, and that was key to victory.”

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR0110 Hybrid Hypercar of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR0110 Hybrid Hypercar of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon reckoned the race officials made the right calls on most occasions over the course of the race.

He only questioned the decision to go to green-flag running after a FCY at the end of the third hour, shortly after which the race was red-flagged for the third time.

“There was one moment when we were very surprised when the race restarted after an FCY and there was heavy rain,” he explained.

“This was borderline: immediately afterwards the race had to be stopped again because there was aquaplaning everywhere.

“This was a bit of a surprising call; otherwise it was generally good.”

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