The 2014 champions Toyota were totally outclassed by Porsche and Audi during 2015, and appeared to have found some speed with their latest championship contender.
However the practice form book was a little unreliable, as it had been wet, with snow halting one session on Saturday morning.
Once the pack surged away from the line the new TS050 was unable to make much of an impression once racing got underway.
The no.5 car of Anthony Davidson, Sebastian Buemi, and Nakajima briefly ran in the top three due to a different strategy. When we were walking towards the pits I saw a puff of smoke from the rear of the car.
It looked like the engine was letting go, but I was wrong. It was a puncture, with 95% of the lap to complete before any chance of tyre change. Eventually it let go “big time” forcing a pace car, and pit stop that lasting over 45 minutes.
So what hope was there for this Mike Conway car? Not much! But when Brendan Hartley tripped over a 911, and an Audi conked out they sneaked into third place.
Then much to my surprise the “winning” Audi was found to be running too low a ride height, and thus the No.7 was disqualified. Second for Toyota Team was an incredible result.
Somehow I can’t see this machine winning on merit based on its current pace.