TOYOTA GAZOO Racing claims top six at Nürburgring

2015 World Endurance Championship - Round 4

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing this weekend completed the Six Hours of Nürburgring, the fourth race and halfway point of the 2015 World Endurance Championship (WEC) calendar, with both cars inside the top six.

Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima (#1 TS040 HYBRID) were the leading TOYOTA GAZOO Racing crew in fifth position, while Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway (#2 TS040 HYBRID) finished the race in sixth.

The Nürburgring is located just 90km south of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Cologne base, making this a home event for the team. This weekend’s race was the first time that the track has hosted LMP1 racing since 2001, and over 62,000 fans were present throughout the weekend.

Weather conditions in Germany’s Eifel region offered teams and drivers a real challenge over the three days. Friday’s opening practice was held in fully wet conditions before drying out for the afternoon session.

I experienced all types of weather conditions in practice which meant I ran on all four of the different Michelin tyres; wet, damp and the two options of slicks,” said Anthony at the end of Friday. “So I got a good read on the car at least.

The team had a solid qualifying session to lockout the third row of the grid. Anthony and Sébastien were on qualifying duties in the #1 car and took fifth spot, while Alex and Stéphane’s average laps were good enough for sixth.


I am quite pleased with what we did in qualifying and I am happy enough with my laps,” said reigning World Champion Sébastien. “Anthony and I had quite similar lap times so I don’t think there was a lot more in the car. At the end of the day we are where we are, so we need to push for the race. It is important to keep fighting even if we are not in an easy position.”

The sun shone brightly on race day morning and with a vast number of supporters at the track, the atmosphere was as hot as the weather conditions.

Kazuki and Mike were at the wheel of their respective cars on an all-TOYOTA third row and started the race by holding their positions.

It was nice to start the race for the first time and get a feel for how it is,” said Mike. “I pushed all the way to the end and concentrated on putting in the fastest lap times we could.

Traffic was a significant factor in this weekend’s racing on the Nürburgring’s 5.137km Grand Prix circuit due to its narrow track and series of tight corners, which required drivers to balance aggression with caution as they navigated around cars from slower classes.

We did the best we could,” said Stéphane, “with full effort and always hoping for an opportunity. We pushed hard and did our maximum without any mistakes.


Debris on the track instigated two full course yellows in the third hour of racing, but the two 1,000hp TS040 HYBRIDs kept a consistent pace. It was a solid and steady run for the two TOYOTA GAZOO Racing crews, and fifth and sixth place looked unlikely to change hands as the half-distance point came and went.

It was a lonely race and realistically only a fight between our two cars,” said Kazuki. “We didn’t give up and I think we got the most out of our package. I am quite happy with my stints and my lap times. We will continue to fight and do everything we can.”

The two TS040 HYBRIDs performed reliably, taking the chequered flag with Anthony and Alex at the wheel of the #1 and #2 TS040 HYBRIDs as the #17 Porsche won the race from its #18 sister vehicle.

We did a perfect job today from our side,” commented Anthony. “There was no more that we could have done. Thanks to the engineers and mechanics for a good day with no issues. We are looking forward to the upcoming races to see if we have some better chances; we are not going to give up pushing.”

The result was enough for reigning World Champions TOYOTA to maintain third position in the manufacturers’ standings. Alex, Stéphane and Mike sit in seventh position in the drivers’ championship and are the leading TOYOTA crew.

It was nice to race in Germany,” said Alex. “It was impressive to have so many people here. The race wasn’t perfect so we need to look into where we lost time. We have to stay sharp and always optimise the package we have – that’s our job for the rest of the season.


The team performed professionally in hot conditions today,” summarised Team Principal Toshio Sato. “I was impressed to see so many fans from Toyota Germany and Toyota Europe in the grandstands today, so I thank them for their support. The European leg of the season is now over so we will push, in Cologne and Japan, to be ready for the final four races. We will take any opportunity which comes our way.

Round 5 of the 2015 WEC calendar sees the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas take place in Austin, Texas on 19 September. It is the first of four non-European rounds that will close out the season and decide the championship standings.

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