IMAGE COURTESY OF GTPLANET.NET
CIRCUIT DE LA SARTHE, LE MANS, FRANCE: In a feat of total domination, Toyota Racing earlier today captured the top two spots in the LMP1 prototype class during the second qualifying session for the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans...using only bicycles.
One unidentified team captain (who refused to be identified for reasons of legality) expanded further upon the outright trouncing of the competition in the 6-hour qualifier.
"We built up this program following our tragic loss last year, with our goal to obliterate Porsche for the 2018 24 Le Mans race...and now we don't have any Porsches to obliterate. While I personally think that Porsche is a bunch of sissies, fine, I get it, they're going to focus on other things. The problem, however, is that the rest of the LMP1 field are in privateer cars."
"I know the privateer teams mean well, and maybe, just maybe, if something catastrophic happens to both the #7 and the #8, you know, something bad enough that doesn't allow either Toyota driver to still win by simply pushing their cars faster than everyone else, someone else out there just might pick up a Cinderella win. But the way things are going right now, it isn't going to look too good in the European press if by the end of the 24 hours we end up beating the nearest non-Toyota by 119,000 laps. We had to do something to make the race a bit closer."
"We parked the #7 and the #8 for the entire qualifying session and sent our drivers out on bicycles to qualify, in an attempt to make qualifying a bit more of a challenge for the Toyota teams, and also give us something fun to do during the race, by giving us the opportunity to pass at least one or two cars for position, cars that didn't have a giant 'Toyota' logo anywhere on them. These weren't even proper road bicycles, we sent them out on a pair of old American Mongoose BMX bikes, you know, the neat ones from the late 1970's with those spiderweb mag wheels. I seem to recall one of them having a rusty chain."
"We did not realize as to how difficult it was going to be to get the drivers to ride their bikes slow enough to allow the rest of the privateer teams out there a shot at getting the pole position. Those fast laps which got us spots 1 and 2? We got those fast times with both drivers pulling their bicycles over at the end of the Mulsanne straight and having a water balloon fight. They even stopped to swap bicycles a few times, and also BMX-jumped a few barriers. We still managed to get 1 and 2 on the starting grid. Fernando even rode a wheelie all the way through the Ford Chicane, and stopped to go back and do it again."
"If it was this horrible during qualifying, I'm not sure how badly we're going to beat the rest of the field when we bring our cars out onto the track on Saturday. We might have to let the air out of the tires, remove a few spark plugs from both of the engines, maybe have all three drivers on each team drive the entire race while blindfolded, or have the #7 and #8 drag fully-loaded international shipping containers behind them for a thousand miles or so, anything to make the race a bit closer and give Toyota Corporate the impression that we still have worthy foes in the world of LMP1 racing who demand our attention. As it is right now, the only foe we're having to combat in the name of sportsmanship is...boredom, as there are only so many times that you can play 'peekaboo' with each other in the pits and still wield the element of surprise."
"I'm not even sure why we're here, but Fernando Alonso promised all of us on both teams the free use his personal go-kart track AND allowed us access to his official porta-potty for an entire weekend if we let him race this year. And since we can't turn down a chance of doing something really important, like spending a weekend at Fernando's go-kart track, we thought we should just go ahead, suck it in, and be real men, allowing ourselves to suffer through a boring week of watching our race cars attempt to drive as slow as possible in an attempt to not hurt anyone's feelings by driving the the speeds our cars were designed for, and beating the closest privateer effort to the finish by at least two or three weeks. Sigh. The Toyota racer's burden."
When asked about the legality of this move, using bicycles to qualify, the unnamed team captain stated, "The FIA were completely okay with this. Normally they would have probably banned us from the race for pulling this stunt, but seeing as how we're the only corporate effort in the LMP1 class, and they want at least two cars to finish the event, they relented and let us ride the bikes."
The 24 Hours of Le Mans begins Saturday.
(This is a work of satire. None of this actually happened, nor will it ever happen. Or it might be entirely possible that it just might happen, this is Le Mans that we're talking about here. It is not to be construed or confused with any people, businesses, or organizations, whether they be real, or imagined. Any similarities with real people, places, or organizations are pure coincidence and nothing else. Nobody from Team Toyota (that I or anyone else knows of) is getting free weekend-long access to Fernando Alonso's private go-kart track and Fernando Alonso's private track porta-potty in exchange for allowing Fernando Alonso the opportunity to win the second challenge in the incredibly elusive Triple Crown. No individuals, corporations, fully-loaded international shipping containers, or anyone named 'Fernando Alonso' were impersonated. No boredom, people playing 'peekaboo', or vintage 1970's Mongoose BMX bicycles were harmed during the writing of this fictional, satirical story.)