Companies that 8 Hours from Portimao, second date of the 2021 season of the World Endurance, was a new display of the power of the Toyota GAZOO Racing in the category. His two cars fought for victory, which was defined in a singular way and with team orders in between in the last 20 minutes of the test.
The triumph, finally, was in the hands of the trio formed by the Swiss Sébastien Buemi, the Japanese Kazuki Nakajima and the New Zealander Brendon Hartley with the Toyota GR010 HYBRID No. 8.
While the double in the XNUMXth Toyota presentation in endurance races it was completed by the Argentine Jose Maria Lopez, English Mike conway and the Japanese Kamui kobasyahi, on the prototype N ° 7.
In previous years the team “froze” their car positions at the final pit stops of the race, but that has changed for this year. This was confirmed Pascal Vasselon, technical director of Toyota GAZOO Racing Europe.
“We are constantly discussing and refining the rules with the drivers. Everyone preferred that everything be defined at the end of the race because with the previous system it was difficult to be fair because the cars were not in the same situation ”, Vasselon explained to Motorsport.
The last laps found López and Buemi in the first potions. The Argentine, who was in front of the peloton, took advantage of a neutralization to enter the pits and refuel. He came out behind the Swiss and quickly passed Buemi, who stepped aside at the order he received from the pits. But three laps later Pechito returned the first place to his teammate, again at the request of the team. But why?
As explained by Vasselon the priority of winning was held by the fastest driver on the track at the time. “We only look at the traffic-free sectors. In the first part of the heat (after the neutralization), José María was faster, so he went ahead. But when he was in front he was not fast, so we asked him to go backwards, ”he explained.
“This is the rule we have to make sure that the pilots accept the exchange”, the technician finished.