Le Mans Track Record Smashed By Factory Toyota Team
Toyota’s TS050 Hybrid has taken pole position for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, setting the fastest lap ever of the 8.4-mile Circuit De La Sarthe in the process.
Japanese racer Kamui Kobayashi was behind the wheel of the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing in a qualifying session yesterday evening when a near-empty track presented the perfect opportunity for a hot lap. He duly obliged, setting an astounding time of 3:14.791.
The previous fastest lap time – 3:16.887 by Neel Jani in a Porsche 919 in 2015 – was also set in qualifying.
While official lap records can only be set under race conditions, the fastest unofficial lap is still a much sought-after achievement in the Le Mans paddock. The official lap record of 3:17.475 was set by André Lotterer (Audi) in 2015, but his record is expected to tumble during this weekend’s race – the 85th Le Mans 24 Hours.
After Toyota came so close to victory last year, only to suffer heartbreak with five minutes to go, will this finally be the year that the Japanese manufacturer conquers the event for the first time?
Story by Adam Weller
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