#8 TS040 Hybrid Team extends lead in the World Championship and records Toyota’s fifth top-three finish at Le Mans
Dubai, UAE, June 17, 2014 – Toyota Racing stood on the podium at the Le Mans 24 Hours held at the Circuit de la Sarthe with the #8 TS040 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi finishing third to extend their lead in the World Championship.
The #8 TS040 Hybrid also had high expectations of fighting for victory but realistic hope was ended within 90 minutes. In a sudden downpour, and on slick tyres, Nicolas was involved in a multi-car accident on the Mulsanne Straight.
He nursed the badly damaged car back to the pits where the team worked quickly to replace front and rear bodywork, as well as replacing the suspension installation on the front left corner. After reentering the race, Anthony, Nicolas and Sébastien kept up a consistent pace and moved into the top four, with an eye on the podium as technical issues affected several competitors before finally crossing the line for a bitter sweet third place.
According to Nobuyuki Negishi, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, TOYOTA Motor Corporation, “I would like to commend the Toyota Racing team for competing till the end to finish a tough race at the Le Mans 24 Hours.This is exemplified by the #8 TS040 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi who finished third inspite of several challenges to have a podium finish. Credit goes to the entire team and the pit crew for how they managed to make the necessary repairs after an accident to put the #8 TS040 hybrid back on the track and still manage a third place finish.”
On this occasion, Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President said: “There is certainly a huge amount of disappointment in our team because both of our TS040 Hybrids had enough speed to win the race. There is no doubt that part of the magic of Le Mans is that it is so unpredictable and challenging. We will come back stronger for this experience and we have a World Championship to fight for, starting at the next race. All team members, including the drivers, performed brilliantly in this race, not only to repair the damage but to stay positive and bring home third position. I am very proud of this and the whole team should be proud of their efforts too.”
Anthony Davidson said: “It was definitely an eventful race. We had the speed all along but it didn’t go right in the tricky conditions and the car was heavily damaged; from there we were on the back foot. It could have happened to anyone, it was just one of those things. I was surprised to be standing on the podium. From not even being in the top 30 after the accident to end up on the podium just goes to show the speed. The win comes to you, not the other way around in this race.”
The next round of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship will be at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, in September. Before then the Toyota Hybrid TS040 is scheduled to take part in the hill climb course at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 26 – 29 June), as part of a large collection of contemporary and classic Toyota race and rally cars that will be in action and on display.
TS040 Hybrid #8 (Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre, Sébastien Buemi)
Race: 3rd, 374 laps, 31 pit stops. Fastest lap: 3 min 23.117 secs
TS040 Hybrid #7 ((Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima)