FIA WEC Championship Calendar 2015
Season 2015 Races
- 6 Hours of Silverstone - GBR
- 6 Hours of Spa - BEL
- 24 Hours of Le Mans - FRA
- 6 Hours of Nürburgring - GER
- 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas - USA
- 6 Hours of Fuji - JPN
- 6 Hours of Shanghai - CHN
- 6 Hours of Bahrain - BHR
Toyota Racing: World Champions 2014
TOYOTA Racing is the 2014 drivers’ and manufacturers’ World Champion after a successful conclusion to the FIA World Endurance Championship season in the Six Hours of Sao Paulo, at Interlagos.
The eighth and final race of the season was a thrilling one, with the #8 TS040 HYBRID of World Champions Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi finishing second after a late safety car halted a potentially-successful battle for victory.
The #7 of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway were handed a harsh drive-through penalty which meant they finished fourth. That also dropped Alex and Stéphane to fifth in the drivers’ championship.
But the focus was on the team result today, with TOYOTA ending a 15-year wait for a title, following the 1999 World Rally Championship triumph.
Today’s result marks a historic moment in sportscar racing history as it is the first time a Japanese manufacturer has won the World Endurance Championship in any of its guises since its inception in 1953.
It also marks a significant milestone for the TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing. The project to pioneer a motorsport hybrid system began in 2006 and in July 2007 a TOYOTA Supra became the first-ever hybrid winner, in the Tokachi 24 Hours.
That pioneering super capacitor technology has been extensively developed, reducing weight and increasing power, leading to the 1,000PS, four-wheel-drive TS040 HYBRID which has simultaneously reduced fuel consumption by 25% compared to 2013.
In the new efficiency-focused LMP1 regulations, TOYOTA technology has triumphed, with the TS040 HYBRID winning five of its eight races and taking four pole positions, 12 podium finishes and four fastest laps.
Nevertheless, that success has been far from easy and the team appreciates the close and fair competition from Audi and Porsche which has made the 2014 season exciting and very rewarding.
TOYOTA Racing would like to thank all its valued partners for their part in delivering both World Championships. DENSO inverters and hybrid motors, TOTAL lubricants, Aisin AW hybrid motors, Nisshinbo super capacitors, ZF clutches and Takata safety equipment all played a pivotal part in both World Championships.
Today’s race marked the end of an era in endurance racing as Tom Kristensen retired from the sport. What he has achieved is truly remarkable and everyone at TOYOTA Racing wishes him the very best in his racing retirement.
Akio Toyoda, President, TOYOTA Motor Corporation: “After only three years in the FIA World Endurance Championship, I’m overjoyed that TOYOTA Racing was able to win both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ World Championships this season with the TS040 HYBRID. I must express my sincere gratitude to our fans for their encouragement and our partners for their support. I would also like to say congratulations and thank you to all the drivers and racing team staff who worked so hard and closely together throughout the season. TOYOTA will use these experiences in the FIA World Endurance Championship to help revolutionize hybrid technology and to help make ever-better cars that delight people around the world.”
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “Today’s race was truly one of the most exciting I have been involved with. I am very proud of the result, especially considering the power loss we suffer at this altitude. Happily our hybrid system worked well which helped particularly with traffic management. Everyone pushed to the limit to find the final tenth of a second. To win both World Championships is one of our biggest achievements in motorsport. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and worked with us to achieve this incredible result. Our team and drivers have been superb this season; everyone has played their part, including Kazuki Nakajima and Nicolas Lapierre who are not with us here in Sao Paulo. We have been fighting against strong competitors who have an incredible history in endurance racing. This makes our achievement even more valuable to us. We will enjoy this moment but immediately we will be working hard to retain our titles in 2015.”
TS040 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway)
Race: 4th, 248 laps, 7 pit stops. Fastest lap: 1min 18.778secs
Alex Wurz: “It has been amazing as a team to win the manufacturers’ World Championship, which is well deserved for TOYOTA Racing. It was really fun racing today; I enjoyed it. The car was good, especially in my second stint but less fun was to get a drive-through penalty for what I consider just racing. Never mind, I respect as always the decision of the race stewards but it’s hard to take as it dropped us from third in the drivers’ championship. We had some very fast race weekends but didn’t have the luck this year.”
Stéphane Sarrazin: “It is a very good season for TOYOTA and me. We are World Champion manufacturers, just amazing. The whole team has worked so hard not only this year but since the very beginning of the project and this is a fantastic reward. Our car has been strong in every race and that is really a credit to how well the team has performed. For us in our car we are very disappointed because we thought the penalty was harsh. That cost us positions in the race and the championship which was disappointing.”
Mike Conway: “As the race was unfolding it was a huge fight between TOYOTA, Porsche and Audi. It was really close. We saw a few different strategies but ultimately we were looking at a podium. We pushed flat-out all the way to try to get the car up there but it’s just a pity we couldn’t have had a restart because I think both cars could have made up positions. Obviously it is a great day for TOYOTA. World Champions; that was the objective this weekend, so huge congratulations to everyone. It’s great to be part of the team.”
TS040 HYBRID #8 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi)
Race: 2nd, 249 laps, 6 pit stops. Fastest lap: 1min 18.399secs
Anthony Davidson: “It wasn’t the way we wanted to win the manufacturers’ World Championship but it was good fun trying to win the race today. We didn’t expect to be fighting for victory so that was in a way a bonus. It also shows why we are the champions because we didn’t give up at all today. We pushed Porsche all the way to the end. Although we were denied the chance to fight to the flag, it was still good fun. Congratulations to Porsche who did a great job all weekend. I want to say big thanks to the team for all their hard work this year. It has been good fun being part of it.”
Sébastien Buemi: “I am really happy because together with Anthony we did a great race. We did a few mistakes but we were pushed to the absolute limit by the Porsche guys and I think they deserved the win. We are a little disappointed because we thought we could have fought hard at the restart. But we are really happy overall with the performance and winning the two titles. It’s been a great year for us. We are drivers’ and manufacturers’ World Champions and now we look forward to next year.”
TOYOTA RACING TARGETS TITLE IN BRAZIL
TOYOTA Racing heads to Brazil this weekend on the verge of securing the FIA World Endurance Championship title in the season-ending Six Hours of Sao Paulo at Interlagos.
Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi, driving the #8 TS040 HYBRID, already won the drivers’ World Championship at the penultimate race in Bahrain just over a week ago and the team stands on the brink of an historic triumph.
TOYOTA, seeking to become the first Japanese winners of the World Endurance Championship in any of its guises since its inception in 1953, leads the manufacturers’ World Championship by 40 points with a maximum of 44 available in Brazil.
Kazuki Nakajima was scheduled to return to the cockpit of the #7 TS040 HYBRID, having missed the Bahrain round due to his Super GT commitments. However, due to difficulties to obtain the correct working visa, which are out of TOYOTA Racing’s control, Kazuki is unable to participate in Sao Paulo.
In his absence, Alex Wurz and Stéphane Sarrazin will again be partnered by Mike Conway. The trio won the Bahrain race together in #7, making it three consecutive race wins for the team and five out of seven races this season.
Interlagos has already been the scene of celebrations for TOYOTA Racing in the recent past. The #7 took the team’s maiden pole position and victory there in 2012, in just its third race. However, chances of a repeat last year were dashed early in the race when the #8 was hit by an LMP2 car and forced to retire.
Action at Interlagos begins on Friday with the first official practice sessions (13.00-14.30 and 17.30-19.00) while Saturday sees final practice (10.00-11.00) and qualifying (15.20-15.45). The six-hour race starts on Sunday at 13.00.
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “Our task in Brazil is clear; we want to win the manufacturers’ World Championship. We are in a very strong position in the standings but until the chequered flag falls in Brazil, we cannot take anything for granted. Interlagos is a track which has suited us well in the past and I have particularly happy memories of winning our first race there two years ago. I hope we can enjoy some more celebrations on Sunday night but before we think about that, we will be giving everything, as usual, to perform strongly again in the race.”
Alex Wurz (TS040 HYBRID #7): “Sao Paulo is a very cool track as it’s a bit old school. Obviously there is a lot of history there and the Brazilian fans always create a special atmosphere. Like many drivers, I love this track. This year specifically it will be very interesting because the track has been resurfaced. We saw in Formula 1 that the grip level has increased so there are very different factors to consider for the tyres compared to last year. It will be interesting who reacts fastest and smartest to these changes.”
Stéphane Sarrazin (TS040 HYBRID #7): “I’m looking forward to racing in Brazil again. The TS040 HYBRID has been really competitive at every track this year so I am confident we will again have a good package this weekend. It was great for us in the #7 to win the last race in Bahrain, and of course for Anthony and Sébastien to win the drivers’ World Championship. We enjoyed that moment but now we get back to business. Our focus is on winning the manufacturers’ title for TOYOTA; that would be an amazing way to end the season.”
Mike Conway (TS040 HYBRID #7): “I’m happy to be back in the #7 car again; I didn’t expect to be racing in Brazil so it was a nice surprise although obviously it’s disappointing for Kazuki, especially considering the circumstances. But for me it’s a great chance to get more miles in the car and to work again with the team. I was pleased with my weekend in Bahrain, particularly winning the race. So I am heading to Brazil in a very positive mood and I’m determined to do my bit again for the team in their World Championship challenge.”
Anthony Davidson (TS040 HYBRID #8): “After the tension of Bahrain and finally the joy at winning the drivers’ World Championship, things should be a little more relaxed for Sébastien and me in Brazil. That doesn’t mean we will be taking it easy; far from it. I’d love to finish the season with a win as that would be the perfect end to an incredible year. But the priority is first and foremost winning the manufacturers’ World Championship for the team. We have had the fastest car this season so I am confident we will be strong.”
Sébastien Buemi (TS040 HYBRID #8): “I’ve enjoyed the last few days after Bahrain and eventually I am starting to get used to being called a World Champion. It’s a great feeling but the season will not be complete until we have won the manufacturers’ title for the team. That’s the final piece of the jigsaw for us in 2014 and it’s clearly our target this weekend. We have shown good speed at Interlagos in the past two years and it seems to suit our hybrid system. It will be interesting to see how the new track surface affects things but I’m sure we’ll be fighting at the front.”
TOYOTA Racing at Interlagos:
2012 #7: Qual. 1st; Race 1st.
2013 #8: Qual. 3rd; Race DNF (accident).