2020 Lone Star Le Mans: Double Podium for Toyota Gazoo Racing
Toyota Gazoo Racing was celebrating in Austin last weekend after scoring a double podium finish in the six-hour, 2020 Lone Star Le Mans endurance race.
Sébastian Buemi, Brendon Hartley, and Kazuki Nakajima finished second in the No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, just over 51 seconds behind the winning No. 1 Rebellion car. Behind them were rivals Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and José María López in the No. 7 Toyota.
This was a very strong result for Toyota Gazoo Racing considering that both of its cars were under the effects of the series’ “success handicap,” a system that uses a variety of mechanical factors like minimum weight and fuel flow to restrict car performance based on its previous performances that season.
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The No. 7 Toyota, having won two of the previous four WEC rounds, was the most handicapped car on the grid, followed by the No. 8 Toyota, which has won a single round and finished 2nd at all the others. As a result, finishing in the order that they did, behind the less successful and therefore less handicapped No. 1 Rebellion car, was just about the best result the team could have expected at the 2020 Lone Star Le Mans.
The handicap system essentially exists to prevent high-budget teams like Toyota from easily running away with the title, and while it might seem unfair from a competitive standpoint, it does make the series more exciting for spectators hoping to see more on-track action.
Still, five rounds in and with three more to go, Toyota nonetheless sits pretty at the top of the standings. The drivers of the No. 7 car are currently leading the drivers’ championship with 112 points, ahead of the drivers of the No. 8 car, who have 107 points. Rebellion drivers are third with 93 points, and in the manufacturers’ championship, Toyota leads Rebellion 126 points to 93.
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Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.