After five seasons since its launch in 2012, the developing competition within the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) has evolved into one of the most entertaining, competitive and respected motor sports.
Originating in 1953 as the World Championships for Sports Cars, the inception of the Endurance Championships came about in 1981. The present WEC series emerged from the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, running for two years between 2010-2011.
Competitors face their ensuing challenge at circuits iconic world wide, such as: Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, Nurburgring,Fuji Speedway and the ultimate 24 hours Le Mans.
Reinforcing their commitment to endurance racing and to improve their opportunity to win, a confirmation of a three TS050 Hybrid car entry in to selected races and the introduction of a broader driver line up, including: Newcomer José María López and familiar favourites Mike Conway, Kamui Koboyashi, Kazuki Nakajima, Sébastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson.Toyota Gazoo Racing presented its 2017 team, including the updated TS050 HYBRID, in March at Monza.
As Toyota’s third competitive car since entering the championship in 2012. It features a 2.4-litre, twin-turbo, direct injection V6 petrol engine, that is able to limit the fuel flow to the engine, reflecting the current championship regulations. Making good use of technology gained from its WEC campaign with turbo engines and extending into its use withToyota's road cars. In addition combining the 8MJ hybrid system that uses regenerative braking.
Energy from front and rear motor-generators is recovered under braking and stored in a high-powered lithium-ion battery. It is then released as a boost for maximum performance and efficiency.
Toyota Gazoo managed to get their first podium finish at the Nurburgring on Sunday, then took third place in a heart racing fourth round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship.
It all started with the No7 Toyota TS050 of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez taking pole position at the German circuit close to Cologne team base. The Number 8 sister car qualified fourth fastest from Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.
To finish off Kobayashi came third in the Number 7 car, with Nakajima completing a dogged drive by the crew who completed the fourth race in the Number 8 car. All results have kept Toyota in the manufacturers championships with 39.5 points behind leaders Porsche. In the drivers' title race, Conway, Kobayashi and Lopez trail by 30 points.
This race was the end of the European leg of the WEC season where is it now being moved to North America to continue the fifth and sixth elements of the championships. It will then be moved further to Mexico on the 3rd September and then to Austin, Texas on the 16th September.
There wasn't success at the Le Mans 24 Hours as only one of the three TS050 Hybrid cars are still running and finished in ninth place on Sunday. There were high sights at the world's famous sportswear race with the Number 7 car of Mike Conway, Kami Kobayashi and Stéphane Sarrazin who lead pole position for 10 hours only to be forced into retirement with a clutch problem.
There was some bad luck of the Toyota Gazoo Racing's campaign in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship. There was offerings of double points at the third series at Le Mans as Porsche's victory gave the team a 36.5 point lead in both the drivers' and manufacturers' title races.
In the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship Toyota made two wins from two races posting an impressive one-two finish on Saturday within 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
The Silverstone winners took another step to the podium in the Number 8 TS050 Hybrid by Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima. They now have extended their lead in the drivers' World Championships to 17 points. The Number 7 car of Mike Conway and Kamiu Kobayashi had a close finish by just 1.992 seconds behind just after six hours of high-speed action around the Belgian circuit. This resulted in 8.5 points ahead of Porsche and the team's first one-two since Shanghai in 2014.
Event 1 - Silverstone
The racing team successfully battle the challenging weather conditions to gather their 2017 FIA World Championship campaign off to the best start and resulted in bringing home the win in the Number 8 TS050 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.
It was perfect for Davidson to win at the home circuit in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 spectators, ideal to bring the Number 8 crew to the top step of the podium. He said:
"It’s amazing to finally get our first win together. We had to work really hard for it though, but did a great job both individually and as a team. We read the conditions correctly and made the right call on strategy in difficult conditions. We couldn’t be prouder to win this one."