Skip to main content

Toyota Gazoo Racing Set A New Sebring Lap Record

At its first ever visit to Sebring International Raceway for the World Endurance Championship (WEC) 1000 Miles of Sebring, Toyota Gazoo Racing (GR) set a new lap record on Test Day #1. Mike Conway in the #7 TS050 Hybrid LM P1 car had a best lap time of 1:41.211. Like Brabham's BT62 Bathurst lap record a few weeks ago, the lap time is unofficial because it wasn't set during a competitive session, but it is a verified clocked time. But this is a test session for the WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring so this is likely in race spec unlike the Brabham's BT62 lap time that was set during demonstration laps. Porsche's LM P1 car, the 919 Hybrid, famously obliterated the Nurburgring lap record last summer in 2018 with a lap time of 5:19.55.

Before the test, Mike Conway said: "Going into Sebring my expectations are high. We would like to keep up the good run of form we have had in #7, which means continuing to score well and win more races. Sebring is going to be a challenging one because it's a new track for the team. I know the circuit well from IMSA racing and testing in IndyCar. I hope that my experience there will help the team to speed up the process and get the car into a good window. I'm looking forward to going back there and earning a good result." I doubt he's disappointed with their progress so far.

Toyota GR driver Mike Conway - Toyota GR ©

Now, everyone knows exactly how fast the Porsche 919 is because there is an abundance of lap times at the 'Ring but very few people have a gauge for lap times at Sebring (myself included). To put the lap time into perspective, I tried to find lap times at Sebring but it was harder than I thought. Fastestlaps has only 11 entries and none of them are easily verified. Sebring International Raceway website doesn't have any (or if it does, they're buried). After a bit of searching, I found just about the best resource there is: NASA (National Auto Sport Association) championships. Jackpot.

I couldn't find any national championships held in 2018 but I checked Time Attack (TT - Time Trial) in 2017 and found plenty of events. All production-based cars (Corvette's, Ferrari's, Porsche's, etc.) have lap times in the 2:10+ range. The vast majority of lap times are 2:20 and slower. Fastest lap time was a 2:13.410, a whopping 32+ seconds slower which. If you're curious (kids, don't do this at home), that would be like saying the Porsche 919 can do a 5:19 lap on the 'Ring but most other cars that are really quick and built for lap times are around the 7:00 minute mark, right in the ball park you'd expect.

The previous lap record at Sebring was set in 2013 by an Audi R18 e-tron, one of the cars that basically kicked off the current crop of hybrid LMP1 cars. It was 2.655 seconds slower with a lap time of 1:43.866. Leading both of the morning and afternoon sessions puts Toyota GR in the lead, but being just a test session, it won't count until Qualifying.

FIA WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring Test Day 1 results - FIA WEC ©

LMP2 class and LM GTE AM classes swapped leaders. Signatech Alpine Matmut had the quickest LMP2 time in the morning session with a lap time of 1:49.343 whereas TDS Racing led the afternoon test session with 1:47.869. In GTE Am, Dempsey Proton Racing led the morning test session with 1:59.943 in the #88 Porsche 911 RSR (GTE Am) car, to be bested by about half a second by the Aston Martin Racing team in the afternoon session with a 1:59.435 in the #98 Vantage GTE car.

In the LM GTE Pro class, Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK lead both sessions like Toyota GR in its class, with a best time of the day of 1:58.318 in the #67 Ford GT car. With that said, one of the Ford GT's prime rivals, the Corvette C7.R, was absent from the test session. That said, Chip Ganassi did manage to stay ahead of the other front runners in the class, the 911 RSR GTE Pro and the GTE Pro Ferrari 488.

There are three more Free Practice (FP) sessions before Qualifying on March 14th and then the race on March 15th. I can't wait!

Follow Ram's Eye The Track Guy on Facebook and Instagram!


Does An Aftermarket Grille Really Increase Airflow?
I put a Saleen S281 grille to the test to answer that question.

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's
What you need to fit a proper size square tire setup.

How Limited Slip Diffs Make You Faster on Track
What you need to know about how they put power down and pros and cons.

Can Telemetry Explain Schumacher's Talent?
A comparison between Schumacher's and then team mate Herbert's data.

Cayman GT4 Track Review
The first Cayman with proper (911-challenging) power.

Is an EcoBoost Mustang any good on Track?
Two days at the track in a Mustang short 4 cylinders.

2016 BMW M4 DCT Track Review
It's quick (properly quick). But is it fun?

Can a stock Golf Diesel handle a Track Day?
Not your every day track beater.

🔥 Most Visited This Week

Michelin Pilot Super Sports vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 - Street Review

I've been a huge fan of Michelin PSS tires and exclusively bought them for the Mustang over the last four years. So how did I end up here? This year, I was hugely interested in trying an "R-comp" tire. I had my eyes set on Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's for two simple reasons: price and reputation. Although not a true "R-comp" tire on paper, it performs like one by the account of every single test and review I've read (down to wear rates...). They seem like they're easily the most affordable (from a big brand) R-comp tire and combine that with a reputation for having tons of grip, it was an easy top contender. I had my concerns, though. For one, I'm told and have read that they are an autox tire, not really designed for high speed, pressure, and temps associated with open track. For another, the Mustang is a heavy car (as far as track cars are concerned) being roughly 3,800 lb. (including driver), which will amplify the unwanted open track loads.…

Michelin PSS vs Firestone Indy 500 - Track Review

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my first impressions of Michelin's PSS vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires. I've run PSS's for several years on the Boss, but I'm trying the Indy 500's for the first time. In short, I was worried about the narrower tires (I was running 285/35/18 PSS but could only find the Indy 500 in 275/35/18) and tread squirm, but I was happy with them up to that point just driving on the street. I had the chance to drive on them for three track days now. So what were they like? After my first session, they made an impression that basically persisted for the rest of track sessions on them. Phenomenal, unmatched value. Now, if value is something that stands out above all else, it typically means the compromise between qualities you want and those you don't is less than ideal, but the value is attractive. This is no different. I'll start with the bad, which really boil down to two: ultimate grip and grip longevity.

Grip is noticeably lowe…

The Truth behind Owning a Modified Ferrari 458 Italia

After driving and reviewing this modified 620 hp Ferrari 458 Italia, I talk to the owner to find out the truth behind owning and living with a modern Ferrari. This isn't a garage queen Ferrari either, it serves double duty as an every day car and track car. Watch to find out ownership costs, reliability, and experience. Interested in joining Scott at the track? Check out MHPDC.

Liked this? Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss new videos!

Follow Rams Eye The Track Guy on Facebook and Instagram!

View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Michael R (@ramseyethetrackguy) on May 21, 2019 at 5:17pm PDT

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's

If you've had any doubts about whether or not they will fit, fear not! You absolutely can run square 305/30/19's. I had a lot of doubts before pulling the trigger, even more so when the wheels where on the car. The tires do poke out a bit and I figured rubbing is all but guaranteed at full compression but I couldn't be happier I trusted APEX and those on here who have run it.

Here's what you need:

1. Camber plates: I have MM C/C plates and they are maxed out at -2.3 deg with the stock struts. I have been running them for years with many track days without issue.

2. 1"/25 mm spacer: I have Motorsport-tech 1" spacers and they look like high quality units. There is maybe a 1/4 inch clearance in the back so you can't go any narrower than 25 mm. and you want Design 2.

3. Elongated studs: your best bet is to get the FPP hubs with elongated studs instead of reusing the old one. Bearings are consumables anyway so…