Published on October 27th, 2015 |
by Daniel Sherman Fernandez
Gazoo racing preparing for 6 Hours of Shanghai
The eight-race WEC season concludes with three Asian rounds, starting earlier this month with TOYOTA’s home race at Fuji Speedway, then heading across the East China Sea to Shanghai and finally to the finale in Bahrain in November. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will again compete with two cars in Shanghai. Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima drive the #1 TS040 HYBRID, with Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway in the #2.
The team has a strong record in China, having won the race in 2012 and 2014, while a mechanical problem denied it a deserved victory following a dominant performance in 2013. It also holds the LMP1 race lap record of 1min 48.694secs, set by Sébastien last year. This weekend is expected to be more of a challenge, although the team is encouraged by the improved performance shown by the TS040 HYBRID in the wet conditions at Fuji Speedway which saw both cars battling with their Audi and Porsche rivals.
China has become established as a regular stop on the endurance racing calendar. The Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the precursor to today’s WEC, first visited Zuhai International Circuit in 2010 and 2011 for 1000km races won by Stéphane and Anthony respectively. Shanghai International Circuit, which was completed in 2004, has been a permanent fixture since the re-birth of WEC in 2012. The circuit, which at 5.451km features 16 corners and two long straights, is located around 40km from Shanghai centre. TOYOTA will experience it for the first time with the 2015-specification TS040 HYBRID on Friday, when two practice sessions (10.30 & 15.30) will be used for set-up and tyre work. Final practice (09.00) and qualifying (14.00) take place on Saturday, while Sunday’s race begins at 11.00.