The buildup to this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours with testing. Heading the times were the two Toyota TS040 Hybrids with both cars completing a trouble-free test. The test day’s two four-hour sessions were the only opportunity for teams to test on the track before the competition begins on June 11th with free practice and qualifying.
Anthony Davidson, who pilots the No8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid with Sébastien Buemi and Nicolas Lapierre, said: “The car felt strong all day and had a nice balance. We went through the program and achieved a lot. Straight out of the box this morning the car had a good balance and that allowed us to work on the smaller details. Generally it has been a productive day and I am looking forward to coming back here for race week.”
The three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars managed 284 laps during the testing at La Sarthe. During the four hours in the morning, Lucas di Grassi/Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen in car number 1, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer in the number 2 R18 e-tron quattro and Filipe Albuquerque/Marco Bonanomi in the third car, put all the set-up work into on-track action. After 159 laps in the afternoon, Audi looked back on a third place driven by Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Bonanomi.
“Our drivers, Audi Sport Team Joest and all Audi Sport employees fully accomplished an ambitious program today and in doing so performed valuable work,” said Audi Head of Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “The squad surpassed our expectations. Now, in the remaining week before the event, we’re going to analyze this data in order to find an optimal set-up for all three race cars.”
Le Mans is the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship and Toyota Racing will enter the event as championship leaders, having won the earlier races at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps. Those results have earned the team a 48-point lead over their manufacturer rivals, Audi and Porsche.
Test day results (parts 1 and 2 combined)
1 Buemi/Davidson/Lapierre (Toyota), 3m 23.014s
2 Nakajima/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota), 3m 23.156s
3 Albuquerque/Bonanomi (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 3m 23.799s
4 Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 3m 24.453s
5 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche), 3m 24.692s
6 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 3m 24.757s
7 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche), 3m 24.911s
8 Beche/Heidfeld/Prost (Rebellion-Toyota), 3m 31.700s
9 Belicchi/Kraihamer/Leimer (Rebellion-Toyota), 3m 33.043s
10 Canal/Pla/Rusinov (Morgan-Nissan), 3m 37.795s