Toyota on top in Shanghai rain

Sets fastest lap in FIA World Endurance Championship practice.

Toyota on top in Shanghai rain
#8 Toyota Racing Toyota TS040-Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi
#8 Toyota Racing Toyota TS040-Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi
#8 Toyota Racing Toyota TS040-Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi
#8 Toyota Racing Toyota TS040-Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi
#7 Toyota Racing Toyota TS040 Hybrid: Alexander Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima
#7 Toyota Racing Toyota TS040 Hybrid: Alexander Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima
#7 Toyota Racing Toyota TS040 Hybrid: Alexander Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima
FIA World Endurance Championship leader TOYOTA Racing began its Six Hours of Shanghai preparations by setting the fastest lap in practice on a rain-affected first day at the Shanghai International Circuit. The #8 TS040 HYBRID of Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi, who lead the drivers’ World Championship by 26 points, set the fastest lap of the day in second practice, which finished early due to heavy rain.
 
The sister car, the #7 of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima, was close behind in second as the team resumed where it left off in Fuji three weeks ago, when it took a one-two victory in front of its home fans. TOYOTA Racing is fighting for the title on two fronts and holds an eight-point lead in the manufacturers’ World Championship, with the 1,000PS, four-wheel-drive TS040 HYBRID having won three of the five races so far this season.

Damp track

A trouble-free day began in first practice on a damp track, with both cars starting on wet tyres before moving on to hybrid intermediates then slick tyres as a dry line emerged. The team took the opportunity to gain experience of each type of tyre in the evolving track conditions, as lap times improved in parallel. The remainder of first practice stayed dry and allowed the team to analyse different aerodynamic and mechanical set-ups, with both TS040 HYBRIDs running reliably and recording a combined 392km.
 
Car #8 set the fastest time of the session, via birthday boy Sébastien, while #7 was second thanks to Stéphane’s best lap.
 
Changing weather was a factor in the afternoon as well, with early drizzle giving way to prolonged rain, which gave all drivers a chance to familiarise themselves with the Shanghai circuit in wet conditions. But the rain only got heavier and with 17 minutes remaining, the red flags came out to prematurely end the session, with the #8 on top courtesy of Anthony’s lap and the #7 again second as a result of Alex’s best effort. Tomorrow sees the final one-hour practice session (9.30) before qualifying (13.55). The race starts on Sunday at 11.00.
 
TS040 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima)
Free practice 1: 2nd (1min 50.981secs), 34 laps
Free practice 2: 2nd (1min 49.806secs), 22 laps
 
Alex Wurz: “We went through the program and did all the testing we wanted to do. Obviously, at the end of the session this afternoon it was wet which was entertaining and quite fun to drive. We will look at the data and make some improvements for tomorrow and Sunday. It has been a reasonably good day and now we look forward to the rest of the weekend.”
 
Stéphane Sarrazin: “It was a very interesting day in terms of testing. The car felt pretty good and we were quick from the beginning of the day. We did a good job looking at the different tyres. My first lap in second practice was fully wet but the car felt incredible and the grip was amazing. The forecasts say the race should be dry but even if it is raining we have the car to do a good job.”
 
Kazuki Nakajima: “Although I didn’t drive so much today it was good to see the car was competitive. Still, the car balance is not perfect and we need to do a bit more work to improve the set-up. It was difficult with these conditions to develop the set-up properly but we will study the data and work on it before qualifying. Overall it was a good first day; now let’s see how the weather develops.”
 
TS040 HYBRID #8 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi)
Free practice 1: 1st (1min 49.833secs), 38 laps
Free practice 2: 1st (1min 49.134secs), 27 laps
 
Anthony Davidson: “It has been a difficult day in terms of weather but in all conditions that we faced, the car performed well. I’m happy with the balance of the car in the dry and wet conditions and the performance seems to be there. We have a bit of homework to do tonight as usual on a Friday. I hope we get better weather tomorrow but I think we will have to wait until Sunday to get a dry day.”          
 
Sébastien Buemi: “It was a good first day for the two cars. We did quite a lot of laps, in all kinds of conditions. It should not be wet on Sunday but maybe on Saturday and now we have good experience in all conditions. So we really feel like we have started well, everything is running smoothly and we look competitive. We just hope to continue in the same direction as we finished Fuji then we will all be happy.”
 
Toyota Racing
   
shares
comments
The AF Corse Ferrari 458’s Italia defend the leadership in the “Shanghai 6 Hours”
Previous article

The AF Corse Ferrari 458’s Italia defend the leadership in the “Shanghai 6 Hours”

Next article

Extreme Speed qualifies fifth and sixth for WEC at Shanghai

Extreme Speed qualifies fifth and sixth for WEC at Shanghai
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Prime

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive FIA World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Motorsport.com recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
5 h
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Prime

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained.

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Prime

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the FIA World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out.

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021