SPA pain for Toyota Gazoo Racing

Engine problems for both TS050 Hybrids put them out of contention.

SPA pain for Toyota Gazoo Racing
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#6 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#6 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#6 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#6 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
#6 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi
Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota Racing
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima

Toyota Gazoo Racing lost a likely victory in the second round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) when mechanical issues hit both cars at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium today.

Toyota, which started the race as manufacturers’ World Championship leaders, led comfortably after four hours and looked set to take victory in the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, its first since 2014.

But engine problems for both TS050 Hybrids put them out of contention. The #5 of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima was classified 26th, but earned 12 points in terms of manufacturers’ World Championship points. The #6 of Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi retired.

Prior to the mechanical issues, the two TS050 Hybrids demonstrated significantly improved performance. The #5 had been leading by over a minute, with the #6 in third after an earlier accident with a lapped car required it to pit for repairs.

Toyota’s next race is the Le Mans 24 Hours on 18 June, when 250,000 spectators will witness the 84th edition of the world’s most famous endurance race. Prior to that, the official test day at Circuit de la Sarthe takes place on 5 June.

Toshio Sato, Team President: “We saw positive signs in terms of performance but the end result is very hard to take. Thanks to the great effort from the team in Cologne and Higashi-Fuji, we showed a clear improvement compared to Silverstone. We consistently set very strong lap times and were able to lead the race until the last two hours. But unfortunately we experienced damaged engines on both cars. Now we will urgently address what has happened and find counter-measures before Le Mans.”

TS050 Hybrid #5 (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima)

Race: 26th, 114 laps, 5 pit stops. Grid: 5th. Fastest lap: 1min 59.740secs

Anthony Davidson: “Obviously it is really disappointing, having looked so good earlier in the race. I really feel we deserved it today and it was cruelly taken away due to a problem we have never seen before. In all of the kilometres we have done in testing, we have never seen such a problem. Now we have to dust ourselves off and get ready for Le Mans.”

Sébastien Buemi: “We cannot be happy but we have to take the positives. We were leading the race by a long way and I don’t remember the last time that happened. The performance was there and that is the positive out of this weekend. Now we focus on Le Mans and fight back.”

Kazuki Nakajima: “A difficult day for us. I think we did everything right in terms of tyre choice, downforce level and strategy. The positive side is that we were really competitive and we showed we can fight. But it’s disappointing to end like this, because it was a great chance to win. I feel sorry for all the team.”

TS050 Hybrid #6 (Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi)

Race: DNF, 87 laps, 6 pit stops. Grid: 3rd. Fastest lap: 2min 00.177secs

Stéphane Sarrazin: “It was a very difficult day; the most difficult for us in a long time. We had strong performance and both cars should have finished on the podium. We looked good and that’s encouraging for Le Mans. We have the car to fight and we have one month to get ready.”

Mike Conway: “That was tough. I made a mistake, touching an LMP2 car and that damaged our race. After that we were pushing as much as we could and got up into the podium places. We had a good strategy and things were working out. We could have had two podium finishes today but it wasn’t to be.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “Unfortunately it is a disappointing result for us. We showed the performance but we couldn’t show the result which is a real pity. The encouraging fact is the strong performance of the TS050 Hybrid, so we are looking forward to Le Mans.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing

shares
comments
Rebellion shock factory teams again with WEC podium

Previous article

Rebellion shock factory teams again with WEC podium

Next article

Ferrari No. 71 wins the 6 Hours of Spa

Ferrari No. 71 wins the 6 Hours of Spa
Load comments
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021
Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Prime

Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally.

WEC
Aug 14, 2021
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021