— Ben Johnston (@BSJ2008) June 14, 2019
FIA World Endurance Championship Manufacturers champions Toyota Gazoo Racing will start the 2018/19 season ending 24 Hours Of LeMans from pole position after the #7 TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi took pole position for the 87th edition of this legendary race.
In taking pole the #7 crew took a bonus point closing to 30 points behind their sister car the #8 TS050 Hybrid in the race for the championship with 38 points available.
Speaking about taking the pole, Mike Conway said:
“A big thank you to everyone who helped to get the car ready for qualifying after the accident yesterday. It was not easy but they put in so much effort and we have repaid them with the pole. It was a great lap from Kamui and a huge team effort. After Kamui’s lap we focused on getting the car ready for the race. It has been a positive day and it’s nice to get the extra point.”
The #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing machine set a pole time of 3min 15.497secs and speaking following the session, Jose Maria Lopez said:
It’s great to be on pole position but a little mixed; I want to celebrate but 24 hours is a long time to race and the result at the end of that is the target. Congratulations to the whole team, especially the mechanics who worked so hard to get the car ready. This pole position is for them. Now we push to be fully prepared for the race.”
Kamui Kobayashi commented saying:
“I am happy to be on pole again here. Actually I was hoping I could improve on my 2017 lap record but I was missing a little bit of time. Two years ago the track conditions and traffic were perfect; it wasn’t quite the same this time. But it’s a great feeling to be on pole and now we put all our effort to get the result on Sunday afternoon.”
The #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid set a time that just 0.411s behind the #7 car and speaking following the session, Sebastien Buemi said:
It has been a good job from the team because we managed to secure a one-two on the grid which was the objective. Well done to the car #7 guys; they did a good job and put in a very quick lap. The first part of the race event is now done; let’s focus on the important bit which is the race. It’s a 24-hour race so let’s see what will happen.”
Kazuki Nakajima commented on his day saying:
I’m pretty happy to be on the front row in second. Qualifying was quite messy, particularly the third qualifying with the traffic. In the second session we had a cleaner run and I was more or less happy with my lap. I could have improved but it was okay. The front row and a strong preparation for the race were the targets and we achieved that.”
I feel good with the result; it’s job done for us. We wanted to get both TOYOTAs on the front row and we managed it. The privateers were very close but we performed well to stay ahead and also get ready for the weekend. It’s always tough to race for 24 hours so we will prepare ourselves well on Friday and be ready for the fight.”