|Monday, 6 November 2017, 09:02 HKT/SGT|
Toyota City, Japan, Nov 6, 2017 - (JCN Newswire) - Toyota GAZOO Racing dominated the 6 Hours of Shanghai to win its fourth race of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season on a day tinged with frustration.
2017 WEC Round 8 Shanghai
Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima in the #8 TS050 Hybrid took victory by more than a lap from their nearest challengers for Toyota's third win in Shanghai, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.
However, the team had been on course for a second consecutive one-two finish prior to a late collision which damaged the #7 TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez. They eventually finished fourth.
That result means Toyota goes to the final race of 2017, in Bahrain on 18 November, level on four wins each with Porsche. However, both title battles are over, with Porsche and drivers Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley confirmed as World Champions.
When the race began, Jose led from pole in the #7 while Sebastien lost a position but fought back to pass both Porsches. With 26 cars on track, traffic is always a challenge and Jose hit the #26 LMP2 after 30 minutes, losing eight seconds and dropping to third.
He recovered the position and, as the one-hour mark approached, handed the #7 over to Kamui in second place at the first pit stops. Unlike its sister car, the #8 crew chose to double stint the tyres, and Sebastien resumed in the lead.
But after two hours, all leading cars had made their second pit stops and Kamui led in the #7 with Anthony just behind on new tyres in the #8. Both were well clear of the #2 Porsche while the #1 was now one lap behind.
Anthony put the new tyres to good use and passed Kamui for the lead, recording several quick lap times to extend his advantage prior to a full course yellow, during which both TS050 Hybrids pitted, the #7 changing two tyres and switching driver to Mike.
The two TS050 Hybrids continued to lead beyond the halfway point and were consistently faster than the competition. Kazuki lapped the third-placed Porsche #2 with around two hours to go and the cars eased their pace to avoid unnecessary risk.
When the final pit stops came with just under an hour to go, Sebastien took new tyres in the #8 while Jose only refuelled, meaning he led. However, contact with the #91 Porsche GT damaged the left rear of the #7 and cost 13 minutes in the pits.
Quick work by the mechanics allowed the car to return to the track and take the chequered flag in fourth, seven laps behind. Sebastien completed a dominant but bitter-sweet victory on a day when the team had shown the performance to earn a one-two.
Hisatake Murata, Team President:
"To win our fourth race of the season is a really special feeling. Well done to everyone in the team for their great work this weekend. We were fastest in every practice session, we earned pole position and now we have won the race. I think we deserved the one-two and it was a pity to lose time right at the end of the race due to contact with a lapped car. Congratulations to Porsche on winning the drivers' and manufacturers' World Championship. We will keep fighting at the final race, when we want to finish the season with another win."
TS050 Hybrid #7 (Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez)
Race: 4th, 188 laps, 7 pit stops. Grid: 1st. Fastest lap: 1min 46.033secs
Mike Conway (TS050 Hybrid #7):
"It was not easy to manage the tyres today, particularly on the second stint but we hung in there. Unfortunately we lost the lead twice due to incidents. It could have been a one-two today and big points for the team; but that didn't happen. Congratulations to car #8; they deserved the win so all credit to them."
Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 Hybrid #7):
"It was a very unfortunate race for us. We had a good car but we struggled a bit with the tyres. Still we managed to fight for the win. We didn't give up but it was a pity that the last collision dropped us back to fourth. We will be pushing for better in Bahrain."
Jose Maria Lopez (TS050 Hybrid #7):
"On my second stint it was difficult with the tyres. Then I had the incident with the GT car. It was my fault for sure, but it's not an easy situation. I was going inside at turn 13; it's the kind of thing you do a few times every race and there is no problem. I will have a look at the video and learn from this to come back stronger."
TS050 Hybrid #8 (Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima)
Race: 1st, 195 laps, 6 pit stops. Grid: 3rd. Fastest lap: 1min 45.892secs
Sebastien Buemi (TS050 Hybrid #8):
"It's an amazing result for our car. We had a great fight with the sister car and it's just unfortunate we couldn't bring home a one-two. It's been a great job from the team to strike back from some difficult races with back-to-back wins. Hopefully we can fight for a fifth win in Bahrain and have more wins than Porsche this season. For now let's celebrate the win and enjoy the last fight in Bahrain."
Anthony Davidson (TS050 Hybrid #8):
"It's great to get a win again after actually driving the car, unlike in Fuji! I can properly celebrate this one. The car was great. We struggled a bit compared to #7 in qualifying but we had the best car in the race. I want to say thanks to our car crew because we had the right strategy and strong pit stops. That gave us the platform to win today."
Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 Hybrid #8):
"Many thanks to the team for giving us such a good car and well to the pit stop crew. My team-mates did a great job but I suffered a lot in the car, with the traffic and all the rubber on track. I lost a bit of time but managed to survive and we had the speed to win by a lap. I am happy with the race result and now the target is to win again in Bahrain."
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is the global mobility company that introduced the Prius hybrid-electric car in 1997 and the first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, Mirai, in 2014. Headquartered in Toyota City, Japan, Toyota has been making cars since 1937. Today, Toyota proudly employs 370,000 employees in communities around the world. Together, they build around 10 million vehicles per year in 29 countries, from mainstream cars and premium vehicles to mini-vehicles and commercial trucks, and sell them in more than 170 countries under the brands Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino. For more information, please visit www.toyota-global.com.
Public Affairs Division
Global Communications Department
Toyota Motor Corporation
Nov 6, 2017 09:02 HKT/SGT
Topic: Press release summary
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