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Floury: ‘If Porsche Loses, They Will Have Done a Bad Job’

Toyota technical boss David Floury adamant Porsche has the upper hand over Hypercar rivals…

 

Photo: Julien Delfosse/DPPI

Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director David Floury says it is “clear” Porsche goes into next week’s 24 Hours of Le Mans with an advantage over its Hypercar rivals, suggesting that the German marque will have done a “pretty bad job” if it loses.

Floury made the remarks speaking to gathered reporters immediately after the afternoon session of Sunday’s test day, which was topped by Kevin Estre at the wheel of the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport entry by 0.235 seconds.

Estre and Felipe Nasr in the sister No. 4 car made it a 1-2 for factory 963s at the head of the timesheets, with Toyota proving Porsche’s nearest rival as Brendon Hartley put the quicker of the two GR010 Hybrids, the No. 8 car, in third.

However, Porsche could have ended up with an even larger margin at the head of the field had Fred Makowiecki not suffered a puncture while on course for his best lap.

Commenting on the 0.708-second deficit Toyota faced to Porsche at the end of test day, Floury made his feelings about the Stuttgart brand’s level of performance clear, while also remarking on Ferrari and Cadillac’s relative lack of pace.

Ferrari’s top car was the No. 50 of Miguel Molina in fifth, more than a second off the pace, while Cadillac’s top runner, the No. 311 Action Express Racing-entered car, was only 14th in the hands of Pipo Derani.

“I think the hierarchy is clear,” Floury said. “If Porsche don’t win, they will have done a pretty bad job.”

Asked if Porsche’s performance was as he expected based on the Balance of Performance released at the start of the week, Floury replied: “Yes, no surprises there.

“If they don’t win, they do a poor job. I think they have the edge in every aspect from what we can see today.

“After that, I still wonder what Ferrari and Cadillac are doing. We will see more during the week, but clearly Porsche is looking very strong.”

Floury added that he expects to be also battling BMW for best-of-the-rest honors along with Ferrari and Cadillac.

“I think behind Porsche, it should be a good fight,” he said after BMW set the sixth-fastest time of the test.

Porsche LMDh factory manager Urs Kuratle, meanwhile, batted off suggestions that the brand is entering Le Mans as the early favorite.

When Floury’s remarks were put to him, Kuratle replied: “There are any number of reasons why you can still do a good job and not win in any race, and particularly Le Mans!

“I’m sure we are in the mix and we will have chances to win. If we don’t win, we will have to analyze why. And if it’s because we did a bad job, we will have to make sure we don’t do it again.”

Despite that, Kuratle expressed his satisfaction with what was a clean six hours of running for all three Penske Porsches, with Makowiecki’s puncture being the only significant problem suffered by any of the three factory cars on Sunday.

“We are happy,” said Kuratle. “We know this is will not be reality, the first couple of stints in the race will look different. We don’t know the pace of the others; only they know.

“We went through our program and that’s the result, but we are not dreaming of being way ahead. That’s our pace, that’s what we can do. 

“We will see the truth in the first or second stint of the race, not even in qualifying.”

Jamie Klein is Sportscar365's Asian editor. Japan-based Klein, who previously worked for Motorsport Network on the Motorsport.cоm and Autosport titles, covers the FIA World Endurance Championship and SUPER GT, among other series.

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