Toyota’s Jose Maria Lopez says he is surprised to have gone quickest in every practice session and to have taken pole position for the Six Hours of Monza.
The Argentinean driver has so far proven himself to be in fine form at the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, topping each of the three practice sessions before going on to beat team-mate Brendon Hartley to pole position in qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
Reacting to his performance after qualifying, Lopez said he was very happy with his performance but expressed surprise at his own performance during the weekend so far.
“Honestly, it’s not very common, I think to be fastest in every session, especially with endurance, you know, we have traffic and all the things but I started on the right foot,” Lopez said.
“It’s been a great year so far for me as well, in terms of the feeling with the car, and yeah, happy to do the job.”
“When you’re there, you have to do it doesn’t matter if you’ve been quickest in every session. In this sport, and in sport generally, you need to prove it every time. It was good to be back on quali. It’s something I really enjoy, always enjoyed in my career.”
“But we have the qualifying specialist in Kamui [Kobayashi], and just when we discussed, I felt a bit more comfortable than him and said we have to optimize it.
“A bit of adrenaline, I think, and I think more than I would have wanted, but in the end, you know, the important thing is to do the job. One-two for the team is important as well. It’s the Saturday, but it’s good to start on the front row.”
Despite the #7 car’s strong form so far in Monza, Lopez remains realistic about the race ahead, expecting a strong challenge from both the #8 sister car and rivals Alpine and Glickenhaus.
“I’m very happy. Of course, for me, it’s important to do this but still, there is a long race,” said Lopez. “There is a lot of things to manage, car 8 is always extremely fast in the race and Alpine and Glickenhaus have been showing a very strong pace.
“So interesting race ahead and I will, of course, enjoy the moment but you know, as soon as we can we put the head down for tomorrow.”