Motorsports Toyota

Published on March 21st, 2023 | by Sounder Rajen


Toyota Gazoo Racing Secures Sebring One-Two Victory

Toyota Gazoo Racing dominated the 2023 FIA WEC

Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) dominated the opening round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) earning a one-two victory in the 1000 Miles of Sebring and the GR010 Hybrid #7 of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez bounced back from a practice accident on Thursday to take victory.


After a long battle at the front, World Champions and 2022 Le Mans winners Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa completed a perfect result for Toyota Gazoo Racing team by finishing second in the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, just 2.168 seconds behind the first place winner.

Moreover, relentless consistency, flawless team operations and strong tyre management all helped the Toyota Gazoo Racing team to overcame the new Hypercar rivals from Cadillac, Ferrari and Porsche, to lap all competitors twice and earn the team’s 40th WEC victory, while Sebastien kept pressure on the pole-sitting #50 Ferrari through the opening laps, while Mike held off a challenge to his third position.

On the fifth lap, a GT safety car met with an accident, putting the battle on hold for 25 minutes. During that interruption, the lead Ferrari pitted for fuel, moving the Toyota GR010 Hybrids to the front setting the pattern of the race. Sebastien also set a new Hypercar race lap record as he and Mike edged clear of the competition.

At the two-hour mark, the Toyota GR010 Hybrids were only slightly ahead of the competition but this was enough to keep them ahead through the first driver changes. Kamui took the wheel of the #7 car and two laps later Brendon jumped into the race, leading in #8, although he immediately came under pressure from the sister car.

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On top of that, as half distance approached, Kamui moved the #7 to the front and soon after, early in the fifth hour, he handed the wheel over to Jose. Ryo took the wheel of the #8 car which was in second place at the time to resume an intra-team battle for victory, with the pair of Toyota drivers now a lap ahead of the competition.

After Kamui and Sebastien returned to their respective cockpits, the gap at the front began to grow during the seventh hour. When Mike took the wheel of the #7 car with only 47 minutes remaining, he held a 23 second advantage over Brendon at the start of the final leg of race.

As Sebring drew closer to its end, Mike zoomed through the remaining laps as Brendon reduced the gap steadily. The chequered flag waved in darkness and Mike crossed the line 2.168 seconds ahead of the #8 car to conquer the biggest-ever top-class grid for a WEC season-opener and earn maximum race points.

Toyota Gazoo Racing GR0101 Hybrid hypercar

The Hypercar battle resumes in Portugal in a month’s time with the 6 Hours of Portimao on 16 April, the second of seven races this season and we hope to see Toyota maintain its dominance there too.

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