Published on September 20th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Toyota On Pole In Austin WEC
TOYOTA Racing extended its lead in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking pole position for the Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi, who share the #8 TS040 HYBRID with Nicolas Lapierre, claimed pole position by more than a second. That earned a bonus point which extends their lead in the drivers’ championship to 21 points.
The team celebrated its third pole position from four races this season, also earning a point which doubles its lead in the manufacturers’ standings to two points.
Mike Conway took part in qualifying on his TOYOTA Racing debut. He, and Stéphane Sarrazin, claimed fifth position in the #7 they share with Alex Wurz. The WEC qualifying format requires two drivers from each car to set a minimum of two flying laps each. The grid is decided by the combined average of each driver’s fastest two laps.
Earlier rain left parts of the circuit damp for the start of qualifying, so the #8 crew waited for three minutes before heading on track. That decision proved significant as the drying track saw lap times improve throughout the 25-minute session.
Turn 11 was still damp though and Anthony ran wide on his first flying lap while Stéphane, who hit the track immediately after the start of the session set solid lap times. Mike and Sébastien took over but suffered a frustrating wait when the red flag came out with four minutes remaining. Both cars queued at the end of the pit lane for a final shoot-out for pole position, with Sébastien securing a four-lap average which was 1.190secs faster than the nearest challenger. Mike took the chequered flag and fifth place, although the #7 was less than a 10th of a second away from second place.
TS040 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway)
Free practice 3: 5th (1min 51.506secs), 23 laps
Qualifying: 5th (1min 50.363secs average)