Published on September 14th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
GAZOO Racing to take on the Six Hours of the Circuit of the Americas
TOYOTA first competed in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing. Since 1985, TOYOTA cars have raced in 17 Le Mans 24 Hours races, achieving a best result of second place on four occasions (1992, 1994, 1999 and 2013). TOYOTA entered the revived WEC in 2012 with its first hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 HYBRID, which won five of the 14 races it entered over two seasons. It was succeeded in 2014 by the four-wheel-drive TS040 HYBRID, which won its debut race and subsequently the 2014 drivers’ and manufacturers’ World Championships.
After four events in Europe, the overseas leg of the season begins in the United States with a race which captures the spirit of the Le Mans 24 Hours by starting in daylight and finishing in darkness. TOYOTA heads to the United States third in the manufacturers’ World Championship after finishing fifth and sixth in the last race, at the Nürburgring in Germany.
World Champions Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi will return to the Circuit of the Americas for a third consecutive year, while their team-mate in the #1 TS040 HYBRID, Kazuki Nakajima, is making his Austin debut. A year ago, Mike Conway made his TOYOTA debut in a very wet Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas and he returns alongside Alex Wurz and Stéphane Sarrazin in the #2; the first time this season he will race at a venue on which he has LMP1 experience.
TOYOTA has mixed memories of Austin from its previous two visits, although the team’s record does include one pole position and two podium finishes. With Saturday’s race finishing in darkness, teams can prepare their cars for such conditions with later practice sessions on Thursday (14.45 & 20.00). Final practice on Friday (10.30) precedes qualifying (18.15). The race begins on Saturday at 17.00.