Congratulations to Mike, Jose, Kamui, winning the final round and winning the championship! Sebastien, Brendon, Kazuki also performed strongly in the last race of the TS050 Hybrid. Thank you for driving well and achieving a one-two finish!
Some years ago, Toyota was referred to as the bridesmaid in the World Endurance Championship. We suffered a series of regrets but our desire to overcome those frustrations led to the development of the TS050 Hybrid in 2016.
But in the car’s first year at Le Mans, the car stopped just before the victory. I was really disappointed. It made the drivers and team feel terribly frustrated. The following year, 2017, Kamui proved the speed of this car to set the fastest-ever lap, a record of 3 minutes 14.791 seconds that still remains. However, only one out of three cars were able to finish the race. This car ran fast, but not strongly.
In 2018, we were finally able to reach our goal of being on top at Le Mans. And in 2019 and 2020, we were able to achieve three straight victories at Le Mans.
We were able to develop the car so that drivers could push to the limit. It took five years to finally reach this level. However, it was the No8 car in which Seb and Kazuki were driving that won Le Mans three times. Mike, Kamui and Jose’s car No7 had some trouble every time. It left them so frustrated each time. To be honest, I’ve always been concerned about this.
This time, car number No7 won the last race of the TS050 Hybrid and won the championship too, in the last year of this car. It was really nice to see the smiles of the three drivers at the end. I was relieved.
Now we can retire TS050 Hybrid with confidence. And with a one-two finish at the last race, the smiles of Mike, Kamui and Jose give us the best motivation for our next car. Then, we can happily move into the battle with our upcoming Hypercar.
The TS050 Hybrid competed in 34 races, took 16 pole positions, and we were able to win 15 fastest laps and 19 victories.
To the drivers, engineers and mechanics who drove this car, to all the supporters and fans who supported us, I sincerely thank you.
We will change to our new car next season and know the drivers will be able to drive with peace of mind and with all your might. The desire to make ever-better cars will not change.
We hope that all the fans will continue to support and be part of Toyota Gazoo Racing. Thank you.
Only one person on the podium today couldn’t remove the champagne cork. I was worried that he forgot how to uncork the champagne!
From next season, we have you a new car for you to drive. I will prepare a car that will never let you forget how to uncork the champagne.
Please look forward to it!