Brendon Hartley agrees that reliability could be a concern for Toyota ahead of this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hour.
However, the Kiwi says the team has done relentless testing to sift out any potential issues in the lead-up to the race.
“We have had four 36-hour tests in the lead up to this,” Hartley said on NewsTalk ZB. “We have had four races already, so we are well prepared.
“Reliability is a concern, but we think we can go for the big win again.”
Hartley qualified second this morning in Hyperpole and will go for his third Le Mans win on Sunday morning NZT.
After three rounds of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, Hartley and the No.8 Toyota Hypercar fronts the driver’s standings.
However, Toyota has run into a handful of teething issues with their new Hypercar.
Hartley says the novelty of the Hypercar means there is more chance for things to go wrong.
But he hopes that rigorous testing between races should have hopefully solved any concerns.
“I think one of the concerns with reliability is that we have a brand-new car,” Hartley said.
“The car we were racing last season was a car that we had a developed over five years. So, all those reliability gremlins get sorted. Then going into this season, it is a new car.
“We have only done two six-hour and one eight-hour race, where we have had a few little issues.
“We are leading the championship, so it has been successful, but it hasn’t been without issue.
“We have done those 36-hour tests where we dive for 36 hours straight to try and push all those reliability concerns out.
“We do feel like we are prepared, but in a tough race like Le Mans when you have got different classes, you’re hammering kerbs and driving flat out for 24 hours, you can’t rule anything out and you have got to be prepared for anything.”
This morning, Toyota locked out the front row, and the team are undisputed favourites to win a fourth successive Le Mans.
But Hartley insists nothing is certain, given how consistent Alpine has been this year and the unforgiving nature of Le Mans.
“There is pressure on the team to win,” he said. “We are not the underdogs; we are the favourites.
“With that being said, we do have some fierce rivals this year. We have Alpine, which has a very proven and reliable car.
“And we have a new competition through Glickenhaus, which are a boutique manufacturer who has some racing experience but hasn’t done the 24 Hours before.
“With the new regulations we have at Le Mans, [Balance of Performance] means that every car should have equal performance.
“There is no given that we are going to have the fastest car. So, it comes down to the team on the day and them putting the perfect performance together.”