TEXAS TRIP FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
Toyota Gazoo Racing head to Austin, Texas this weekend for their second North American race meeting in short succession, the 6 Hours of the Circuit of the Americas.
The sixth round of the 2016 World Endurance Championship will take place this Saturday with the team will be looking to build on their success in Mexico City where the No6 car claimed a well-fought third place. The result saw Stephane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi move up to second place in the drivers championship.
The team will be back to full strength, with Anthony Davidson returning to the No5 car after recovering from the bruised ribs that sidelined him from the last race. He will be joining Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima in the No5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, which failed to finish the Mexican race due to electrical problems.
Davidson said: “Austin is a fantastic track and a real challenge. You have high-speed, fast-flowing corners, a big elevation change, and some very technical, tight corners. It’s a great combination and I haven’t met a driver yet who doesn’t like it. The only downside for a driver is the extreme heat and humidity. I’m happy to be back in the car again. Of course it was frustrating to sit out Mexico but it was the right thing to do and it means I am in good shape for Austin.”
The 3.4-mile Circuit of the Americas is popular with drivers thanks to a design that makes it a great showcase for the high-speed, high-grip LMP1 cars.
Weather can prove a challenging feature of the race, with temperatures having risen above 30°C in the past, creating a challenging environment for drivers and pit crew, who have to wear fireproof clothing at all times. As well as heat, thunderstorms have disrupted proceedings, notably in 2014 when a race-day downpour wreaked havoc.
Toyota Gazoo Racing have finished on the podium for three out of the five races so far this year and are determined to be fighting at the front of the field with competitors Audi and Porsche. The work towards that goal will begin with practice sessions on Thursday, prior to further practice and qualifying on Friday. The race will get under way at 5pm local time (11pm UK time), giving fans the chance to enjoy some night-time racing.