- TOYOTA Racing wins second consecutive World Endurance Championship race of the 2014 at Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
- FIA World Endurance Championship consists of eight races all over the world throughout the year
- TOYOTA hybrid race vehicles are called TS040, both are four-wheel drive hybrid race cars with 986 hp
- #8 team finishes first with team members Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi
- #7 team finishes third place with team members Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima
TORONTO, ON., (May 6, 2014) – TOYOTA Racing continued its winning start to the FIA World Endurance Championship season with victory in a tense second race of 2014, the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi won the race to extend their lead in the Drivers’ World Championship and record a third consecutive win for the #8.
TOYOTA Racing also extended its advantage in the Manufacturers’ World Championship with the #7 TS040 HYBRID of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima finishing third after an exciting race.
Nicolas took the start in the #8 from second place and held position while Stéphane in the #7 had an eventful opening, switching positions several times before establishing himself in fourth, his starting spot.
The pair stayed behind the wheel for just one stint, with Kazuki taking the wheel of the #7 as Sébastien took over the #8 and both taking new tires.
Tire strategy evolved with both cars attempting to double-stint the tires, using one set for two stints to minimize time lost in the pits, but ultimately reverting to new tires at each stop.
Soon after half distance, Kazuki swapped with Alex while Sébastien gave way to Anthony, who soon improved the fastest lap of the race and established a clear lead.
Alex was in the middle of a scrap for second but his cause was handicapped by poor visibility, caused by oil from another car on his windscreen. That was solved at the next pit stop, when Stéphane also took over and continued the chase, with Nicolas then at the wheel of the leading #8.
A final short stop for fuel on both cars set up an intriguing finish and Nicolas took the victory by 1min 13.926secs, with Stéphane third after falling just 6.935secs short of second.
The third round of the season is the Le Mans 24 Hours, which begins with the official test day on June 1st, with the race itself coming two weeks later.
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “I am proud of the whole team for our effort today. To see TOYOTA Racing leading the Manufacturers’ World Championship is very satisfying and it gives us big motivation for the challenge ahead at Le Mans. It was nice to see such a big crowd today and I think we gave them an entertaining race. It’s hard for the team and drivers because we have to give absolutely everything to get the best result; so well done to everyone for that performance. Now we have a demanding period ahead as we prepare for Le Mans. As we have seen many times, Le Mans is a unique race and many things can happen. We will be working flat out to get ready and give ourselves the best possible chance.”
These last two races in early 2014 have certainly shown the level of dedication and innovation that we have come to expect from the TOYOTA Racing team. Vying to stay ahead of the pack, upcoming challenges and true spirit of competition serves as greater motivations to stay focused on winning more races. By continuously improving vehicle technology and team performance, Toyota strives to maintain their hybrid leadership on the track and off the track.
Under the global Toyota vision, further advancements in hybrid race car technology enable faster improvements for road vehicle fuel economy and performance. With the support of TOYOTA Racing and road vehicle teams, Toyota’s aim is to continue providing more eco-friendly vehicles to consumers without sacrificing the need for fun, spirited driving.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid, Canada’s top-selling hybrid for 2013, speaks to Toyota’s commitment to bringing stylish, fun-to-drive hybrid cars to the broader market. With the introduction of a significantly refreshed 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid later this year, Toyota looks to generate even wider success for the Camry Hybrid namesake with a sleeker model change and luxury trim options in the XSE model.
The upcoming second half of the 2014 season is certain to bring even more excitement to TOYOTA Racing as contenders claw for leadership in the next six races. TOYOTA Racing remains confident that their refined driver skills, team preparedness and high performance TOYOTA Hybrid System-Racing powertrain has what it takes to bring them to the top of the podium.
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