Toyota drivers “really disappointed” after nightmare Qualifying Practice at Le Mans

Fastest in both free practice sessions on Wednesday, the same could not be said for qualifying practice.

Toyota Le Mans
Toyota Le Mans

Toyota bounced back with the #8 car in FP2 as they claimed top spot, however, qualifying practice was a disaster for the Japanese manufacturer at Le Mans.

The #8 car of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa could only manage P11, meaning they won’t take part in today’s Hyperpole session.

Speaking at the end of day-one, Buemi said: “It is a very disappointing day because we had a good car and we didn’t make it to Hyperpole.

“Obviously, we will try to put that behind us and in second practice we worked hard to get the most out of the session.

“It was nice to be back driving at night here and we’re making progress on our race preparations.”

Buemi’s disappointment was shared by fellow ex-F1 driver Hartley, who said: “I didn’t make the Hyperpole and we ended up 11th, so I am really disappointed.

“On my first lap I didn’t really get it together and I had a bit of traffic at the end of the lap as well. In the end, that was my best lap.

“After that there was traffic, there was a mistake from me with a spin. I was a bit unlucky and just couldn’t get a clean lap.

“But that’s racing; other drivers will have a similar story and think they should have been in Hyperpole too.

“Now we move on to the race and focus on that. I think we have a car that can compete so we will work on that.”

For the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Nyck De Vries and Jose Maria Lopez, all lap times were deleted due to Kobayashi causing a red flag following a trip into the gravel at Karting.

Kobayashi said: “Qualifying didn’t go well. In terms of performance, we were pretty good, but I went off with two minutes to go and caused a red flag.

“All my laps were deleted so we didn’t get to Hyperpole, and we have to start at the back of the Hypercar grid which is very challenging but it’s how it is.

“It’s a long race and we’ll push to get the best out of it. I feel pretty good in the car and the lap times in qualifying were competitive so I hope we will have a better experience at the weekend.”

Lopez, who was recently called up to replace Mike Conway following the British Driver’s injuries that were caused by a cycling accident, called it a day of ‘ups and downs’.

Lopez added: “It was a day of ups and downs, but we did some positive work in free practice. The car feels pretty good, even at night.

“We had a strong car for qualifying and Kamui did a great job but unfortunately, we had the problem.

“Honestly, it doesn’t change much. Everyone wants to be in Hyperpole but it’s such a long race, so I am not worried or disappointed. We’re looking forward to it.”

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