Monza awaits Toyota Gazoo Racing

4 July 2023

Toyota Gazoo Racing are seeking a return to winning ways when the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship resumes this weekend (8-9 July) with the 6 Hours of Monza.

Four weeks ago, the team’s five-year winning run at the Le Mans 24 Hours came to an end in an incident-packed race, won by Ferrari. Now they heading to Ferrari’s home ground in northern Italy, determined to take spot on the podium and reignite their World Championship title defence.

Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa finished second at Le Mans in their No8 GR010 Hybrid after an epic battle. Despite narrowly missing out on victory, they extended their driver’s championship lead to 25 points, with three races remaining.

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López were forced into retirement last time out, after their No7 GR010 Hybrid was hit by another car. Although this has all but ended their title chances, they are aiming for a third win of the season to move up the rankings and contribute to the team’s challenge for the manufacturers’ championship, where Toyota Gazoo Racing currently lead Ferrari by 18 points.

Monza has a special place in Toyota’s motorsport history as the location of its first victory in a World Championship race. It was here in 1992 that Geoff Lees and Hitoshi Ogawa won the 1000km of Monza in the TS010 Group C car. Since returning to international endurance racing with a hybrid-powered prototype in 2012, the team have raced at the circuit twice: the No7 crew took victory in 2021 and last year the No8 car came second.

This year’s event will begin on Friday with two 90-minute practice sessions. Saturday will feature morning free practice followed by qualifying ahead of the race getting under way on Sunday at 12.30pm local time.

Team quotes

Kamui Kobayashi, Team Principal and driver car No7: “At Le Mans, we did all we could as a team. We got the maximum performance from the car, and the drivers gave everything. We will do the same in Monza and push to get a better result. Now our big priority is to win both World Championships again and it will be a close fight with Ferrari. We have the upper hand at the moment in terms of the points, but they had a faster car in the last two races. I think it will be difficult for us this weekend, but we will never give up, we will keep fighting and pushing for every tenth of a second.”

Mike Conway, driver car No7: “It’s good to be racing again just a few weeks after Le Mans, so we can put all that behind us. After what happened at Le Mans, the World Championship seems out of reach this season for our car unfortunately, but that simplifies the task in the remaining three races. We want to rack up more wins this season, starting at Monza, and we will be pushing hard to get back on the top step of the podium. I am looking forward to getting started again.”

José Maria López, driver car No7: “I really enjoy racing at Monza. It is an old-school track with some fast corners and a great atmosphere. It’s quite like Le Mans in that regard. I have had a lot of strong races at Monza, early in my career and in WEC as well. Our victory there in 2021 was one of the big reasons we were able to win the drivers’ World Championship that season. Last year our car was strong until we had an incident while leading. It will be tougher than ever this year, but I am optimistic.”

Sebastien Buemi, driver car No8: “I am particularly looking forward to racing at Monza, this year because I think the atmosphere will be more special than ever. I have spent a lot of time in Italy during my career, so I enjoy going back there and meeting the fans. I guess they are probably cheering for a different team this year, but it’s still a pleasure to race in front of such an enthusiastic crowd. We are in a close fight for the World Championship and every race will be important, so we will be giving everything this weekend.”

Brendon Hartley, driver car No8: “Pretty quickly after Le Mans our focus moved towards the World Championship battle and the whole team are fired up for the final three races of the season, starting at Monza. It’s not going to be easy, because we have seen how quick Ferrari is, but we showed our fighting spirit at Le Mans, and we are determined to stand on the top step of the podium again. We know we need to execute a perfect weekend and we’re ready for the challenge.”

Ryo Hirakawa, driver car No8: “I am happy to get behind the wheel of the GR010 Hybrid again so soon after Le Mans, which was a difficult race. That’s behind us now and we will come back stronger. I know Monza quite well; we finished second there in the No8 car last year and I also won a European Le Mans Series race there a few years ago. It’s fun to drive, very high speed, and I think it should suit us. We will keep working hard to continually improve the car during the weekend to give ourselves the chance to fight at the front.”


Download this release as a PDF below

Monza awaits Toyota Gazoo Racing


Images are copyright free for editorial purposes only

Media enquiries

Please click here to see the press contacts at Toyota (GB):

Show Press Contacts

For further information, please contact:

David Crouch

07909 900 085 or by email at

General, fleet and motorsport media enquiries

Please understand that our press team only deal with enquiries from media representatives.

Toyota and Lexus Press Releases

To receive all Toyota and Lexus press information, please select the box below.

To update your profile type in your email address and press return. MailChimp will then send you an email confirming your details and you will then have the opportunity of amending your details.

* indicates required
All Toyota/Lexus News