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Toyota Heads to Spa for Pre-Le Mans Shakedown

Toyota Gazoo Racing at Spa to shake down GR010 Hybrids before June trip to Le Mans…

Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing supplied

Toyota Gazoo Racing has set up at Spa-Francorchamps this week for a two-day shakedown in preparation for next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Japanese manufacturer’s Cologne-based FIA World Endurance Championship team is taking to the Belgian track today and on Wednesday with two Toyota GR010 Hybrids.

Mike Conway and Sebastien Buemi are on driving duties for the shakedown, which is limited to one hour of running each day under the ‘special testing’ clause of the WEC sporting regulations.

Toyota usually visits Spa to check its car systems ahead of Le Mans, with the circuit located only around 70 miles away from its European racing headquarters in Germany.

It shook down both GR010 Hybrids at the same track last year with Kamui Kobayashi and Brendon Hartley behind the wheel.

Toyota is aiming to take its fifth consecutive Le Mans overall win next month, with the upcoming 90th edition of the race marking round three of the current WEC season.

Elsewhere, some Le Mans participants are testing at Motorland Aragon this week, including Team WRT which is running three Oreca 07 Gibsons and all of its signed drivers except Robin Frijns.

GT3 regulars Dries Vanthoor, Rolf Ineichen and Mirko Bortolotti are all on-site for the No. 32 WRT entry’s first practice run ahead of its Le Mans cameo.

Fellow LMP2 competitor Cool Racing, which took delivery of the 100th Oreca 07 chassis last Friday and shook the car down at Paul Ricard, is also testing at Aragon.

Furthermore, AF Corse has traveled to the Spanish circuit with its factory GTE-Pro Ferrari 488 GTE Evos and a handful of GTE-Am cars.

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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