MEXICAN MISSION FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
Toyota Gazoo Racing kick off the second half of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship this weekend with a trip across the Atlantic for the 6 Hours of Mexico.
The team have won two of the four races so far this year and continue to challenge Porsche for the manufacturers’ World Championship. Going into the Mexican round, Toyota trails its rival by 39.5 points, with 44 points available each race weekend.
The No7 TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López has been on pole position three times this season. The crew travel to Mexico targeting their first win of the year.
Conway said: “I really enjoyed racing in Mexico last year. It’s a tight and twisty track which makes it challenging with the traffic and overtaking is difficult, but I like the flow of the corners. I’m looking forward to the crowd because they are really enthusiastic. I am sure it will be another close fight with Porsche and I hope we can come out on top.”
In the No8 car, Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima are fighting for the drivers’ World Championship, following victories at Silverstone and Spa. They are 30 points behind the Porsche No2 crew in the standings.
Davidson said: “I didn’t race in Mexico last year as I had a rib injury, so it will be my first proper taste of the circuit. We had a strong car there in 2016 and I think we will be even stronger this year. I want to race at the front and earn as many points as possible for the World Championship.”
The race will take place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, which, at 2,285m above sea level, has much thinner air than most circuits, making it harder for the cars to generate downforce. As at the previous race at the Nürburgring in July, the team will use its high-downforce aerodynamic package.
The 2.7-mile circuit rejoined the WEC calendar in 2016 after a 25-year absence Toyota Gazoo Racing returned to the podium in that race with their No6 car, which achieved a remarkable recovery after missing most of practice through accident damage.
This year’s race will be Hisatake Murata’s first as Team President. He joins the team in hoping for a positive result for both cars, prior to trips to the USA, Japan, China and Bahrain. He said: “The teams in Higashi-Fuji and Cologne have worked very hard since Nürburgring to prepare our TS050 Hybrids for Mexico and the other non-European circuits, which suit our car quite well. We are still fighting for both World Championships so we know it is important to score a lot of points in every race. That is our clear target for Mexico.”
The weekend’s action begins with free practice on Friday and Saturday morning, followed by qualifying on Saturday afternoon. The race will get under way at midday local time (6pm BST) on Sunday.