Toyota regains lead of the manufacturers’ World Championship
Dubai, UAE, October 15 , 2014 – TOYOTA Racing maintained its unbeaten record on home ground with a dominant one-two victory in the Six Hours of Fuji race which was held on October 12 during the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The team scored a third consecutive win in the event thanks to the #8 TS040 HYBRID of Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi, who extend their lead in the drivers’ World Championship. A perfect day for the team saw the #7, winner in Fuji for the past two seasons, finish close behind in second, with Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel.
Both cars finished one lap ahead of the opposition as TOYOTA regained the lead of the manufacturers’ World Championship. Its third win of the season puts the team eight points clear of the closest competitor. In the drivers’ standings, Anthony and Sébastien lead by 26 points over team-mate Nicolas Lapierre, who missed the Fuji race for personal reasons.
According to Takayuki Yoshitsugu, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, TOYOTA Motor Corporation, “The performance of the TOYOTA Racing team in the Six Hours of Fuji race was truly impressive and I congratulate the team and support staff for this great result. Through our participation in the World Endurance Championship, we have added another dimension to our push towards for Toyota hybrid vehicles. Our vehicles have enthused tens of thousands of fans – and showed them that hybrids can be efficient – yes, but fun and fast too!
The TS040 HYBRID represents a great example of Toyota’s pioneering development of the most advanced hybrid technology in racing. We will utilize this knowledge and expertise in developing even better hybrid road cars to reinforce Toyota’s global leadership in hybrid vehicles.”
On this occasion, Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President said: “I am very proud of the team and drivers for this one-two finish in our home race. We have had some great days here at Fuji but this was even better than our previous victories. Many people have asked me if we feel extra pressure this weekend, as Fuji is our home race; actually we only feel extra support. So I would like to say a big thank you to all the fans, Fuji Speedway and our colleagues from TOYOTA who gave us such great encouragement all weekend. Our car was the most competitive this weekend and this is what we are pushing to achieve for the final three races of the season.”
Anthony Davidson said: “It was an absolutely perfect race and a perfect weekend for everyone at TOYOTA Racing. That was a great job by all the team; we had the strongest car, the right strategy and great pit stops. First and second in our home race; it doesn’t get better than that. For the team to win here three times in a row now is pretty special. It extends our lead in the drivers’ World Championship and regains the lead in the manufacturers’, so you couldn’t ask for any more as a team. So big thanks to all and especially to the guys from TOYOTA Motor Corporation who have given us such great support this week.”
Starting from pole, Sébastien in the #8 initially slipped to third in the first corners before hitting back and, helped by the 1,000PS four-wheel-drive TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing, retaking the lead within the opening lap. Kazuki was also involved in the battle and ultimately gained a position to move into third. Sébastien returned to the cockpit of the #8 just before half distance while Alex took the wheel of the #7 to continue the TS040 HYBRID dominance. Anthony and Kazuki returned for further stints, with Stéphane taking over the #7 in the last hour as Anthony remained in the cockpit to take the chequered flag and a very popular one-two in front of 51,000 Japanese fans over the weekend.
Racing resumes for WEC next month with a hectic climax to the year, starting on 2 November with the Six Hours of Shanghai prior to the season-closing races in Bahrain and Sao Paulo.
• TS040 HYBRID #8 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi)
o Race: 1st position, 236 laps, 6 pit stops. Fastest lap: 1min 27.815secs
• TS040 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Kazuki Nakajima)
o Race: 2nd position, 236 laps, 6 pit stops. Fastest lap: 1min 27.887secs