Mike Conway and his #7 TS050 HYBRID crew overcame the maximum success handicap to win at the 6 Hours of Spa and extend their World Championship lead to 12 points with just two races remaining.
Carrying the maximum success handicap all weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, Mike, and his #7 crew of Kamui Kobayashi and José María López, qualified in third place for the 6-hour race in Belgium - with Mike selected to be on qualifying duties alongside Kamui.
Just an hour before the start of the race, a heavy rainstorm caused the race to begin behind the safety car. Mike was behind the wheel when racing resumed on lap five and used the TS050 HYBRID’s four-wheel-drive capabilities to pass the pole position Rebellion #1 - tucking into second place behind the sister #8 car.
Conditions were constantly evolving and at the first pit stops, Mike opted for dry tyres and it soon became clear that conditions favoured the dry rubber. The sister #8 car, in contrast, decided to stay with its wet tyres and relinquished the lead to Mike when they were forced to switch the dry tyres as conditions improved.
Rain returned again to Spa however, and was bad enough for the safety car to be called upon, eliminating the #7 TS050 HYBRID’s advantage. However, an issue for the sister car restored the #7 car’s advantage before the sun reappeared entering the final third of the race.
A late safety car in the final hour brought the sister #8 TS050 back on to the tail of the #7 crew before Mike took the wheel and saw out the remaining 40 minutes. Mike eventually crossed the line to take the win at Spa-Francorchamps with a 34-second advantage to second place.
This marks Mike’s third win of the 2019/20 campaign and a 100% podium record - securing his spot at the top of the World Championship standings by 12 points.
The WEC season now gears up for the biggest race of the year, the Le Mans 24 Hours, which will take place on 19-20 September.
Mike Conway (TS050 HYBRID #7): “Big congratulations to the team. Our car crew, as well as José and Kamui, all did a great job in conditions that were not easy at all with heavy rain coming and going. It was a really challenging race because car #8 was really quick in sectors one and three, but we kept it together and it worked out well for us. With the success handicap we had, we just assumed we would finish third, maybe second if things went really well. But it’s been a great day and it’s a fantastic result.”
Image courtesy of Toyota Gazoo Racing.