TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) has scored a superb victory and double podium finish at 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps following a spectacular third round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Belgium. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López won first place in the No. 7 GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar to earn a Hypercar hat-trick for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing from the opening three races of 2023, following the team’s victories in Sebring and Portimão.
A remarkable fightback from a back-row start saw the No. 8 GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar’s Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa earn an unexpected second place. They now lead the drivers’ World Championship by five points over the TGR team’s No. 7 hypercar. Its seventh consecutive Spa victory means TOYOTA GAZOO Racing takes an impressive 30-point World Championship lead into the centenary edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The race was marked by especially staunch competition, two safety car periods, and changing weather conditions. Despite these challenges, the two GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercars managed to maintain their leads throughout what is considered one of Europe’s most challenging circuits.
With 45 minutes remaining, they made their final pit stops and Kamui resumed just behind Brendon but closing fast after setting the fastest lap of the race. A thrilling overtake at Raidillon put the No. 7 back in front and Kamui stretched his lead, taking the chequered flag after 148 laps to earn the No. 7 GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar’s second win of the season, by 16.637secs from Brendon.
Kei Fujita, Chief Representative, Middle East and Central Asia Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation, commented: “Congratulations to both teams for yet another awe-inspiring victory in Belgium. The GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercars continue to exceed all expectations and perform across even the most challenging of racetracks. Our ongoing motorsports participation allows us to shape a more sustainable future fueled by our passion for developing ‘ever-better cars’ to ensure that no one is left behind. My most sincere thanks go to our teams who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this most recent win a reality, as well as every Toyota fan whose support is crucial for our ongoing achievements.”
Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Toyota’s participation in these events was overseen by separate entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established TGR, to consolidate all of its motorsport’s activities under one in-house brand. Representing Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,’ TGR highlights the role of motorsports as a fundamental pillar of Toyota’s commitment to making ‘ever-better’ cars. Harnessing years of experience gained under the extreme conditions of various motorsports events, TGR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.
The TGR team will be competing for a sixth consecutive victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the highlight of the WEC season set to take place from 10-11 June.