‘It’s been pretty smooth operationally’ – Hartley reflects on Prologue

Brendon Hartley, driver in the #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing Hypercar, thought his and the team’s Prologue ran smoothly without any major issues.

Toyota has entered their 10th season of the World Endurance Championship, just as the series is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Throughout two days of Prologue testing, the Japanese manufacturer drove a high count of 525 laps around the Sebring International Raceway.

Between their pair of GR010 Hybrid Le Mans Hypercars, most of the mileage count was accomplished by the #8 at 270 laps, or 51.4% of the workload.

Two-time world champion Brendon Hartley, set to take on his third season since his full WEC return with Toyota GAZOO Racing, reflected on two days of positive running.

“It’s been a fun couple of days back in the car,” he said.

“Sebring is a great track, old school, bumpy, it’s got character and it’s high risk and unforgiving if you make a mistake.

“It makes you feel alive to drive this car around here.

Credit: © ADRENALMEDIA.COM / Marius Hecker

“We’ve had minimal dramas and no mechanical issues. It’s been pretty smooth operationally,” he said as the team adjusted their V6 petrol hybrid powertrain to run on the new renewable fuel.

“We are going to have to put the perfect race together, from strategy, mechanics in the pit stops, drivers to try and win the race.

“It’s going to be a challenge, but we will do our best.”

Once again, three-time Le Mans winner Sebastien Buemi will join him as a teammate, as will WEC debutant Ryo Hirakawa.

He was equally pleased with his first-ever laps around Sebring with a great deal of information extracted from his outings despite the early stoppage in the first session due to stormy conditions.

The 1000 Miles of Sebring opener will begin the WEC’s 2022 season from Free Practice 1 and 2 on Wednesday, FP3 and qualifying on Thursday, finalised by the race on Friday 18 March.

With Alpine, Glickenhaus and their sister car showing promising pace and reliability during the Prologue, the fight for pole and the first win of the calendar remains open.