Mike Conway of the championship-leading #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing TS050 Hybrid reflected on his third-placed qualification ahead of the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
As the #7 sat in the championship-lead for the past number of races, it faced the effects of the LMP1 success-handicap that was imposed onto the two Toyotas at the start and (evolving) through Season 8.
The recent form of racing in LMP1 has not been of a wheel-to-wheel nature, as demonstrated when neither LMP1 car at the Lone Star Le Mans battled or performed an (on-track) overtake at the Lone Star Le Mans.
Conway gave his thoughts after qualifying: “We were expecting third due to the success handicap but it felt like a pretty average lap because the balance was quite difficult on new tyres.
“I am a bit disappointed as I felt we could have got more out of the car,” with both Toyotas running their latest Le Mans aerodynamic-packages.
“But it is a long race and that’s what counts; we will do our best to get through it cleanly and see how many points we can take away from here.”
Kamui Kobayashi, Conway’s #7 teammate who drove the car first, set his first lap-time for provisional pole early, only +0.004 ahead of the Rebellion who improved later on.
Kobayashi said: “This result is what we expected before the session so it was no surprise.
“We tried to improve the car but with the success handicap it’s difficult to judge if we did a good job or not.
“After six months without racing I enjoyed a one-lap qualifying; it’s always a fun moment,” having set a fastest time (compared to Conway) of a 2m00.762s.
Their average was a 2m01.907s, +1.493s behind the Rebellion’s pole time.
“I hope we will be closer in the race and we will keep fighting to defend our lead in the World Championship.”