Toyota Gazoo Racing in the World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Launched in 2012 and now entering its sixth year after five seasons of incredible competition and growth, the FIA World Endurance Championship has matured into one of the world’s most entertaining and respected motorsport series.
Tracing its history back to 1953, when the World Championship for Sports Cars was launched, it became the Endurance Championship in 1981.
The current WEC series was born out of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, which was also organised by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), and ran for two years from 2010-2011.
All entrants join together to battle it out at iconic circuits such as Silverstone, Fuji Speedway, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps and the cornerstone of the championship, the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Toyota at the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship
This year TOYOTA GAZOO Racing can confirm an expanded driver line-up as part of its three-car entry in selected races.
To improve the odds of winning in the Le Mans 24 Hours and display its commitment to endurance racing, Toyota will enter three TS050 HYBRIDs in the races at Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans.
Drivers include newcomer José María López alongside other more familiar WEC race winners, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Kazuki Nakajima and the 2014 drivers’ World Champions Sébastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson. Stéphane Sarrazin also brings his experience as a part of the Toyota WEC team from the start of the project in 2012.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will present its 2017 team, including an updated TS050 HYBRID, on 31 March at Monza, prior to the two-day official test for all WEC participants at the Italian circuit.
TS050 HYBRID The TS050 Hybrid is Toyota’s third car since joining the championship in 2012. It features a 2.4-litre, twin turbo, direct injection V6 petrol engine, perfectly suited to the current championship regulations due to its limiting of fuel flow to the engine.
Toyota expects to make good use of technology and know-how gained from its WEC campaign with turbo engines increasingly in use for road cars.
This is combined with an 8MJ hybrid system which uses regenerative braking, like that featured in many Toyota road cars. Energy from front and rear motor-generators is recovered under braking and stored in a high-powered lithium-ion battery. It is then released as a boost for maximum performance and efficiency.
Victory for Toyota Gazoo Racing at Silverstone
Event 1 – Silverstone The Gazoo Racing team successfully negotiated challenging weather conditions to get their 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship campaign off to the best possible start and bring home the win in the #8 TS050 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.
For Davidson, winning at his home circuit, in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 spectators, was the perfect way to bring the #8 crew to the top step of the podium. He said: “It’s amazing to finally get our first win together. We had to work really hard for it though but did a great job both individually and as a team. We read the conditions correctly and made the right call on strategy in difficult conditions. We couldn’t be prouder to win this one.”
The team is now preparing for the second round of the season, the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, taking place from 4-6 May. This race will be the first in which Toyota Gazoo Racing enter three hybrid-powered LMP1 cars, with the new line-up of Stéphane Sarrazin, Yuji Kunimoto and Nicolas Lapierre competing in the #9 TS050 Hybrid.
24 Hours of Le Mans 2016
What’s in store for Toyota at WEC?
Stay tuned for upcoming racing in the calendar:
- WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (6th May)
- 24 Hours of Le Mans, France (17th – 18th June)
- 6 Hours of Nürburgring, Germany (16th July)
- 6 Hours of Mexico (3rd September)
- 6 Hours of Austin, USA (16th September)
- 6 Hours of Fuji (15th October)
- 6 Hours of Shanghai, China (5th November)
- 6 Hours of Bahrain (18th November)