Toyota Delighted With WEC Win
— Ben Johnston (@BSJ2008) May 5, 2019
Toyota Gazoo Racing took their first FIA World Endurance Championship victory since 2014 on Friday at the weather affected six Hours of Spa.
Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima took victory in the No.7 TS050 Hybrid.
Speaking following the race, team president Hisatake Murata said:
Congratulations to everyone in the team on winning the World Championship; it is the reward for a lot of hard work over the past year. We faced a challenging race today. I am sorry for the #7 drivers; they all drove really well and it’s a pity they lost the chance to fight for the win due to the sensor issue. The #8 drivers also performed well despite misfortune; congratulations to them. Although such a dramatic race is not easy for the team, I hope the many fans as well as our colleagues from Cologne enjoyed the race despite the weather. Now we look forward to the climax of the season and a race we have been preparing for ever since June last year; Le Mans.”
The No.8 TS050 Hybrid ended the race in sixth place having suffered a technical issue meaning a lengthly pit stop.
Speaking following the race, Mike Conway said:
“It was one of those races; crazy weather with all four seasons in 10 minutes, then we ran into a technical problem and lost a few laps. Up to that point we had a nice comfortable lead, we were really quick and everyone was doing a good job. José and Kamui both drove great stints to try to make up some positions but with all the safety cars we had no chance to fully recover. So we got the best result available given the circumstances.”
Kamui Kobayashi commented on the race saying:
It was a frustrating race for us because we had the car to win and everything looked good until we had the issue. It’s a pity but these things can happen and before that we’d had no technical issues this season. We did our best to recover and showed good performance but after losing so much time there was no realistic chance of the podium. Well done to car #8 on the win and of course a big congratulations to the team for securing the World Championship.”
Jose Maria Lopez commented saying:
“I actually don’t feel disappointed because we did everything we could. We showed that we were the quickest car and that is a nice feeling. We worked well, did everything we had to do and made no mistakes. Unfortunately it didn’t work out but this is endurance racing and it can happen. Congratulations to the team; one of the main goals is achieved. Congratulations also to car #8 for the win. We will keep our heads up and go for the big one now.”
Sebastien Buemi was delighted with the win saying:
“A race win for us is very nice of course, but it was a tricky race with the conditions. I’m sorry for car #7 to have the issue when they were leading; it would have been difficult to catch them so they deserved better. We had some bad luck early in the race and I had some radio issues as well which didn’t help. It’s fantastic for the team to win the World Championship. Now we go to Le Mans with a bit of a margin in the drivers’ championship but we are taking nothing for granted. I am looking forward to a good, fair fight in Le Mans
Kazuki Nakajima commented saying:
It was a crazy race with crazy weather. We were quite lucky to win as it was very unfortunate for car #7; I feel sorry for them. We faced a few difficulties in these conditions so there are some lessons to learn so we are fully prepared for Le Mans. It is a great achievement for the team to become World Champions; that was the biggest target here and now we can celebrate a little bit. We are focused on Le Mans and we have to finish the job for the drivers’ World Championship. We know probably more than anyone how difficult that race can be.”
Fernando Alonso whose focus now switches to preparing for the Indianapolis 500 commented saying:
That was definitely not an easy race, with a couple of issues in the first part in addition to the weather. So the race was up and down in terms of emotions. The most important thing today was securing the teams’ World Championship. I am extremely happy for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing that we scored enough points to become World Champion; a massive well done for everyone in the team. It has been an amazing season for us and hopefully in Le Mans we can have the final, nice touch with the drivers’ title.”
Aiko Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation said:
I would like to really thank the fans for all their support.
The team has faced challening conditions on demanding circuits, for example the race at Fuji, the heavy rain of Shanghai, the famous bumps of Sebring and the snowy weather at Spa, an undulating and difficult circuit.
I am proud of the six drivers and all team members who fought hard in all the races and won the teams’ championship, and I would like to express my thanks to them.
Congratulations. And thank you.
We still have one final race this season, the Le Mans 24 Hours race next month, the finale of the WEC super season. To achieve another victory will not be easy. In this race, we could not prevent a trouble on the car #7, and made the drivers frustrated. We will solve the problem surely and come to Le Mans with TS050 HYBRID which all the drivers can drive feeling safe and pleasant.
I believe we will have the best season end with our team, Mike, Kamui, José, Sébastien, Kazuki, Fernando and all the fans.
Support from our fans always gives us big motivation.
The encouragement from all of you helps us. Thank for so much your continued support.