1-2 for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing at 6 Hours of Spa

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team, partnered by Acronis, powered to a dominant 1-2 at the 6 Hours of Spa in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

In a rain affected race, it was eventually the #7 crew of Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi who took the chequered flag first for their third win of the 2019/20 to extend their points lead at the head of the championship, coming home 34 seconds ahead of the sister #8 car of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley on a drying circuit.

Rain is so often a factor in the microclimate of the Ardennes, and this occasion proved no exception to the rule, as the race started behind the Safety Car. And it was the Toyota machines that coped best with the conditions, lapping Rebellion Racing’s polesitting R-13 which had excelled in the dry but saw both Toyotas literally stream past at into La Source when the Safety Car pulled off.

Initially, it was the #8 Toyota under the control of Buemi that held the lead, pulling out a healthy advantage over Conway’s charge. Yet all that changed when the Swiss opted to stay on wet tyres after the first round of pit stops, with Conway boxing a lap later to gamble on dry tyres in the hope that the circuit conditions would improve.

It proved the wrong call, with Conway pitting again after a Safety Car period, allowing Buemi to disappear into the distance. Although a further two Safety Car periods allowed Nakajima to slash what was a 35 second gap to just under four seconds, the #7 car remained ahead after the penultimate pit stop and that is how it remained under team orders as Buemi pitted late on to take on more fuel.

Motorsport Technology