Challenging 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps for Mike Conway

Mike Conway and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing overcame a challenging and eventful 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps to earn a solid 7th place finish in the third round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Belgium.

In the last race before the Le Mans 24 Hours, Mike Conway, and his #7 teammates Kamui Kobayashi and Nyck de Vries, battled against contact with other cars, penalties, and a performance deficit to secure points in their World Championship challenge thanks to a strong effort from the drivers, engineers and mechanics.

A record 88,100 weekend crowd gathered at Spa on a warm, sunny day for the start as 19 Hypercars battled for position around the first lap, which set the tone for an incident-packed race.

Starting the race for the 7 GR010 HYBRID, Mike made progress from 14th to 12th and as he tried to break into the top 10 and after the first pit stops, Mike moved up to eighth, and he fought to defend that position under pressure from rivals on fresh tyres, before slipping to 10th.

After a long safety car period, Nyck resumed in ninth for the #7, and the gap to the leading pack was reduced but that time gain was lost for the #7 when it dropped to 15th following a drive-through penalty for a virtual safety car infringement.

Nyck drove hard to make up positions going into the second half of the race and joined a four-car fight for seventh late in the fourth hour. As the battle wore on, Nyck overtook the #8 for fifth, just seconds before an accident elsewhere on track caused a two-hour red flag to repair safety barriers.

Racing resumed with one hour 44 minutes remaining and Kamui briefly ran third after the next round of fuel stops, before losing out to the #50 Ferrari. Going into the last hour, Kamui put pressure on the podium positions from fourth.

During the last half hour, Kamui was unable to hang on to fourth as the #51 Ferrari and #99 Porsche made the most of a performance advantage to get past. Kamui was then handed a five-second penalty for contact with a lapped LMGT3 car. That meant when he crossed the finishing line, the #7 collected a seventh-place finishing result.

The team’s focus now switches immediately to the highlight of the WEC season, the Le Mans 24 Hours. The 2024-specification GR010 HYBRIDs will hit the Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time on Sunday 9 June at the official test day, before the race itself on 15-16 June.

Mike Conway:

“It was a bit of a messy race on our car with the penalties. It would have been nice to score more points but in the end, we knew Ferrari and Porsche would be quicker than us. We were struggling with the tyres and couldn’t match that pace. As the track evolved, our pace improved but we were still not quite there. We’ve got to keep pushing for Le Mans.”

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