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FIA WEC: 6 Hours of COTA – Anthony Davidson interview

Anthony Davidson is a key component of Toyota Racing’s efforts to unseat Audi from the endurance racing throne, having started with the mark’s last true challengers, Peugeot, in 2010. Toyota has a 1-point lead coming into this weekend, winning the first two 6-hr races of the year at Silverstone and Spa.

 

Circuit of the Americas

“It’s world class. It challenges the drivers. It’s fan friendly. It’s got great facilities. It’s the proper FIA-standard circuit that America so thoroughly deserved.”

 

Did very well in practice. Where is the extra speed coming from?

“You always store in the memory banks a lap around the circuit. The car’s a little bit different from last year, but you still keep the flow of the track in your mind. It tests the drivers. It’s a challenging  place, and for a new circuit that's quite a rarity. A lot of new tracks are quite point-and-squirt, stop-start. But this track, especially in the first and second sector, makes you think from inside the car as to where you can gain your speed.”

“So yeah, maybe a few extra details in the head this year from last year. But last year my head wasn’t completely in the right place. I was expecting the birth of my daughter at any moment and actually ended up missing it. That came at 4 o’clock in the morning on race day. It was a great distraction, but a distraction nonetheless. I tried my best to be professional and carry on, but I was so tired from the early morning and all I wanted to do was get back home. It doesn’t sound very professional. But human emotion and that definitely comes into play. I was quick at the end of my stint, but I had limited running last year. I tested in the rain, so when I jumped into the race it was all new to me in the dry. So it took me while to get up to speed. I think the team was kind of being kind to me as well, by not stressing me out too much and making me do a double stint. So yeah, I’m much more relaxed this year!”

 

Toyota vs. Audi

“The key will be to beat them. Every single time! So no different than anything else. But no, they’re formidable opponents and legitimate contenders for the championship. We have to respect the quality of their team and their experience. We actually had the fastest car this year at Le Mans. We should have won the race. It got away from us. We feel bitter about that. But that’s Le Mans. It’s a race that comes to you, rather than you chasing the victory. So yeah, we know we’re up against stiff competition with Audi. They’ve been doing this longest and are right at the top of their game. For the moment we’re in the lead in the championship, but they’re the ones who finished 1-2 in the most important race of the year. I still feel like it’s us that’re playing catch up.”

“We had a bit of luck at Silverstone. They crashed out and had their problems there, and they were legitimately as fast us. At Spa we had the best car and won the race on merit. And yeah, Le Mans…we should have been on the top step. So we come here, a track where we really suffered against Audi last year, and seem to be a bit closer, but they’re still a nose ahead. It’s a 6-hour race though and we know full well that anything can happen.”
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