That joy that the Argentine feels today Jose Maria Lopez, English Mike conway and the Japanese Kamui Kobayashi for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans it was about to become a new frustration. This was revealed by the Toyota GAZOO Racing, which had to react quickly and efficiently to a mechanical problem suffered by both of its cars in the final part of the test.
Although with the double that completed by the Swiss Sébastien Buemithe Japanese Kazuki Nakajima and the New Zealander Brendon Hartley It seemed that the Japanese brand had everything under control, it was not like that. In the last quarter of the race the performance of both vehicles was affected by a failure that was not easy to fix.
El fault occurred in the fuel system and appeared first in Buemi, Nakajima and Hartley's car. That forced them to make consecutive stops to refuel, something that took them away from Lopez, Conway, and Kobayashi. As the drivers continued in the race, the team worked hard to correct the problem that was becoming more acute lap after lap.
Various options were tried until a particular solution was found: the drivers of the No. 8 car had to activate a specific setting at defined points around the circuit, something that returned them to the normal rhythm of stint.
The same failure was later experienced in the No. 7 car during Kobayashi's and Lopez's shifts. Using the same protocol as your peers they kept the problem under control to stay on track and go for the win.
“It was a very tough race and a real victory for the team under difficult circumstances. I am amazed at the ability of our pilots to implement our solution without loss of time. It was a true team effort; we never gave up "Said Hisatake murata, responsible for the Japanese team.
“It was a difficult race. During the last six hours we had a problem that could have turned into something really big, but the team found a solution to keep us going. " Conway acknowledged.
More forceful was Kobayashi's testimony: “I always knew that it takes luck to win Le Mans and today we had it… We had to do a special procedure to keep running. We did everything we could to survive during the last hours; it was an almost impossible job. Normally the race would have ended there for us, but somehow we survived because the team worked so hard and did the right thing. "