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Toyota Among Teams in Pre-Le Mans Shakedown Test at Spa

Kobayashi, Hartley shake down Toyota GR010 Hybrids at Spa-Francorchamps…

Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing supplied

Toyota Gazoo Racing and a handful of other teams took part in a test at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this month.

The Japanese manufacturer sent both of its Toyota GR010 Hybrids to Belgium where Kamui Kobayashi and Brendon Hartley shook the cars down on Saturday and Sunday.

Each Le Mans Hypercar vehicle completed around 200km across the two days, according to a Toyota spokesperson.

The start of Saturday’s test program was delayed due to rainfall, but conditions improved later in the day. Toyota completed its shakedown program by lunchtime on Sunday.

The team then sent its support trucks directly to Le Mans ahead of the official pre-event test on Sunday, Aug. 15, while the cars were returned to Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe’s headquarters in Cologne for final preparations.

Toyota previously conducted pre-Le Mans visits to Spa during its hybrid LMP1 program.

“The shakedown ran smoothly without any surprises,” said the manufacturer’s FIA World Endurance Championship technical director Pascal Vasselon.

“We ran checks on the various systems to be sure everything is in good order before the Le Mans test.

“It all went well, despite some traditional Spa weather. We have therefore ticked the final box for our Le Mans preparations and we look forward to starting the event with the test day later this week.”

Other teams at Spa included Risi Competizione, which made its LMP2 race debut in last month’s 6 Hours of Monza, Porsche outfit Proton Competition (with Absolute Racing) and LMP2 competitor Team WRT.

Belgian outfit WRT brought both of its Oreca 07 Gibsons to the Toyota-organized test, where all of its Le Mans drivers except Robin Frijns turned laps. Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz, Yifei Ye, Ferdinand Habsburg and Charles Milesi all got behind the wheel.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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