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Toyota: Glickenhaus pace is “very good news” for Le Mans

Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon described the position of the Glickenhaus-Pipo 007 LMH at the top of the timesheets at the end of the nine-hour test as “very good news” and said that the Japanese manufacturer is “happy for them and the series”.

“It would not at all be entertaining if they were two or three seconds off the pace,” said Vasselon after Glickenhaus driver Olivier Pla’s late run knocked Toyota off the top spot.

“It means there should be a race where several cars are in the same ballpark.”

Vasselon pointed out that the three manufacturers competing in the Hypercar class, the Le Mans Hypercars from Toyota and Glickenhaus and the grandfathered LMP1 Alpine, were all within a second in both sessions of the test day.

“We see the three different cars are within one second, it is perfect,” he said.

Pla moved to the top of the times with just under 10 minutes of the test remaining with a 3m29.115s.

That bettered the 3m29.340s Mike Conway had set earlier in the session aboard the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID.

Pla revealed that he had gone for a time on fresh Michelin rubber in the closing minutes of the session when track temperatures had fallen from the peak 44-deg C during the afternoon.

“We were pushing, we have nothing to hide,” said Pla.

“We were very surprised by the balance of the car at the beginning: I had a very good feeling with the car from my first lap in the morning.

#708 Glickenhaus Racing

#708 Glickenhaus Racing

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“It is good to start the week of Le Mans like that.”

The #7 Toyota did not go out on a new-tyre run at the end of the session, but Kazuki Nakajima was given a fresh set of Michelins in #8 and knocked two hundredths off the car’s previous best from Brendon Hartley.

Both Toyota and Glickenhaus expressed satisfaction with their test day programmes.

Pla said: “We kept improving the car during the day and making it better.

“We didn’t care what the others were doing because we are discovering the car all the time.”

Toyota explained that the distance it completed with its pair of GR010s is almost certainly a record for the team at the test day.

“We had nine hours of testing which from our side have been interrupted, said Vasselon.

“Absolutely no issues, we are very happy about that.

“We have made very high mileage, both cars are above 1400km which I think is a record for us on the test day.”

The Signatech-run Alpine-Gibson A480 ended up fourth in the times at the test day courtesy of a 3m30.111s from Nicolas Lapierre.

The ORECA LMP1 design also completed in excess of 1000km over the nine hours.

The two Glickenhaus 007s each managed just under the 1000km mark.

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