WEC: Mike Conway ready for Le Mans

13th June 2017

Mike Conway and the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team will revisit the scene of its most dramatic moment later this week for the 85thrunning of the Le Mans 24 Hours, the third round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Currently sitting fourth in the World Championship, Mike and his #7 team travel to Le Mans inspired by the heartbreak of last year’s race when victory slipped from their grasp having led for large periods before ultimately finishing second.

Mike and Kamui Kobayashi are reunited with Stephane Sarrazin in the #7 TS050 HYBRID as the team have revised its driver line-up ahead of the weekend to optimise its competitive level.

After the disappointment of last year, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing has focused on intensively developing the TS050 HYBRID with the aim of winning Le Mans for the first time. TOYOTA made its Le Mans debut in 1985 and has entered 18 times, finishing second on five occasions.

Earlier this month, the competitors were given their only chance to test at the La Sarthe circuit outside of the race week where Mike’s #7 car topped the time sheets as TOYOTA locked out the top three positions.

Mike felt that the test showed the potential of the car but noted that the race itself brings a host of new challenges.

“At the test we saw what we can do in nice conditions but as the Le Mans week evolves you experience different conditions, then of course the race is another story. Le Mans is a great event and it’s the one we look forward to for a year. When you get on track on Wednesday everything gets more tense and the atmosphere grows. Then when you drive at night you have to adapt to how the car behaves in those conditions. It’s exciting to be a part of it.”

Le Mans truly represents the spirit of endurance racing, featuring a total of nearly 35 hours of driving, starting on Wednesday 14 June with a four-hour practice session at 16:00 before two hours of qualifying starts at 22:00.

Qualifying continues on Thursday with another pair of two-hour sessions (19:00 & 22:00). The starting grid is decided by the fastest single lap from any of the qualifying sessions, with TOYOTA ready to fight for its third pole position.

Friday’s drivers’ parade in the city centre gives fans a unique chance to meet the drivers before race weekend, which begins with a 45-minute warm-up at 09:00 with the race itself starting at 15:00 on Saturday.

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