A Word from the Winners: LMP1 and LMGTE Pro
We chat to the winners from Saturday's TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps...
Sebastien Buemi – No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing - 1st overall
“Of course it’s the first race, so we’re all happy to start off the season like that. It’s also the first time we raced together with Fernando and Kazuki, so it was important to start it well.
“The start was actually not so easy because of the Safety Car that came in. I don’t remember the last time that we had so many Safety Cars in a six-hour race.
“Somehow the lead kept getting smaller and smaller, but in the end it all went well. It’s just a big warm-up for Le Mans. We keep in mind that the next race is the most important one.
Fernando Alonso – No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing - 1st overall
“Definitely, I am delighted with the result. The whole weekend has been amazing in terms of team performance, a one-two in qually, a one-two in the race.
“There’s been a lot of preparation into this project with winter testing, with simulator, with a lot of people in the factory building these two cars. Then you have to come to the races and deliver the results.
“I think we executed the race in the best way we could, and I'm extremely happy to win my first endurance race. Seb and Kazuki I think did an amazing job, made my life a little bit easier, and thanks to everyone in the team.”
Kazuki Nakajima – No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing - 1st overall
“I’m very happy to win the first race of the season, and a first win together with Seb and Fernando. I feel great and a bit relieved because my stint started very bad. A lot happened and a lot of mistakes from my side as well. But then from there I managed to get back the pace.
“The triple stint was tricky, but I’m happy to complete the job I had to do.”
Stefan Mücke – No.66 Ford Chip Ganassi - 1st LMGTE Pro
“I can tell you it was a very interesting two hours at the beginning of the race. Turn 1 was quite slippery, so I locked up the brakes a little bit, Harry (Tincknell) did the same, but I managed to have a tighter line.
“I think that was a key thing. For the first hour and a half we managed to stay in the lead position until we got pushed off a little bit by an LMP2 car which then brought us into second position. It was a hard fight from them. We knew we had to look after our tyres. The team did a great job with the strategy, and we slowly worked our way back.
Olivier Pla - No.66 Ford Chip Ganassi - 1st LMGTE Pro
“I knew on the last stint that the #91 didn’t change tyres and I had two new tyres on the left, the #92 also.
“So I was trying just to pass him as quick as I can and try to put the gap because I didn’t really know what the pace could have been from Porsche at the end.
“That’s what I was trying to do and it just worked, so very pleasing. It was a difficult season last year, a lot of pace but always something, some drama and bad luck cost us some results. We are really happy. My team and my teammates did a perfect job all weekend. The car has been fantastic. Let’s keep going like that.”
Billy Johnson – No.66 Ford Chip Ganassi -
“(The win) is definitely right up there near the top of my career. To be one of the development drivers on the Ford GT and to be able to race it is a huge honour, and to be able to win in that car obviously just brings that thing full circle and is a dream come true.
“I love driving with these guys, and it’s great to have such a great start to the 2018/19 super season. I couldn’t ask for much more than