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TOYOTA GAZOO #racing made a constructive start to preparations for the final FIA World #endurance Championship (WEC) race of the season with opening practice for the 6 Hours of Bahrain. Cologne, Germany - With an outside chance of the drivers’ World Championship and second place in the manufacturers’ standings still to fight for, TOYOTA approaches the ninth and final race of the season determined to challenge for the win. Preparations began positively in two 90-minute practice sessions on Thursday. Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, who are second in the drivers’ championship, were the fastest TS050 HYBRID, in fourth place in the 6 car. The 5 TS050 HYBRID of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima set the sixth fastest time overall on day one at the Bahrain International Circuit, where TOYOTA has won on two of its four previous WEC visits. Today’s action allowed the team to experience the track in various conditions; first practice began in bright sunshine and ran until sunset while the second session took place in complete darkness. The race is scheduled to start at 16.00 local time so today’s practice provided valuable information about how track conditions evolve as night approaches. As well as analysing track conditions, both cars also ran through a programme of set-up changes and tyre tests with the target of achieving optimal race performance. Today’s action provided an indication of how the team’s competitive level has improved compared to 2015; the TS050 HYBRID set a fastest lap over three seconds faster than the TS040 HYBRID achieved at this stage of last year’s Bahrain #event. That improved performance brings increased expectations and the team will fine-tune car set-up in final practice on Friday prior to qualifying as it prepares to fight for an eighth podium, and second win, of the season.
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