Motorsports

Published on August 14th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair

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Le Mans Winners TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Back in Action

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing returns to action two months after an emotional Le Mans 24 Hours victory with the third round of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the 6 Hours of Silverstone, in Great Britain this weekend.

Silverstone marks TOYOTA’s 51st WEC race since it returned to top-level endurance racing in 2012. The previous 50 races included 18 victories, 16 pole and 45 podium positions, with a first-ever Le Mans triumph on 17 June a fitting way to reach the half century.

Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso won the race from pole position in the #8 TS050 HYBRID following a race-long battle with the #7 car of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López which finished second.

The victorious #8 chassis has been retired from service and preserved in its end-of-race condition. It appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed while TOYOTA Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda viewed the car during a visit to the team’s Cologne base on 23 July, during which he met team members and gave them his personal congratulations.

Inspired by the reaction to Le Mans victory, the team targets another positive weekend at Silverstone as it looks to maintain its 100% start to the season and earn another one-two finish from pole position for its sixth consecutive WEC victory.

TOYOTA has finished on the podium at every visit to Silverstone since returning to the WEC in 2012, including two victories, but the team will have to re-learn some aspects of the British circuit, which has been completely resurfaced since the 2017 race.

The weekend sees a return for the high-downforce specification TS050 HYBRID, which delivers more grip in corners at the expense of top speed on the straights, for its first race of the season. That configuration is better suited to the specific demands of Silverstone, which includes sweeping high-speed corners.

TOYOTA will face a renewed challenge from six non-hybrid LMP1 cars following updates to the Equivalence of Technology (EoT) regulations designed to deliver more performance to its rivals. The non-hybrid cars will benefit from increased fuel flow, now 43.75% more than the TS050 HYBRID, and some will benefit from minimum weight reductions.


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