Toyota Racing made the perfect start to the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship season with a one-two finish in Six Hours of Silverstone on Sunday. It was a particularly sweet home victory for British driver Anthony Davidson, a member of the three-man squad piloting the winning No8 car.
The result marked an impressive maiden outing for the new, 1,000PS four-wheel drive Toyota TS040 Hybrid, which claimed honours in a race shortened due to severe weather conditions. Torrential rain prompted the race to be red flagged within 30 minutes of the official finish time.
Davidson joined Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi in clinching first place, a lap ahead of team-mates Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima in the No7 Toyota. As well as valuable championship points, the result earned the winners the RAC International Tourist Trophy, the world’s longest-running motorsport award.
Toyota Racing were pitted against manufacturer team rivals Audi and Porsche; both Audi cars crashed out of the action, while the single surviving Porsche claimed third place, two laps down on the winning Toyota. The Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota was placed fourth, winning the class for privately entered LMP1 cars.
Reflecting on the team’s great start to the season, Davidson said: “It has been a fantastic weekend and it is brilliant to win my home race.
“The team did a fantastic job all weekend. It looked like it would be an epic fight with Audi and Porsche if it had stayed dry, but we knew the rain was coming and we had set our car up for wet conditions. We made the right call on tyres, the strategy was just perfect; that’s how you win races. It is particularly special to also win the Tourist Trophy and the Richard Lloyd Trophy. It is a fantastic achievement and I couldn’t have wished for a better weekend.”
The second round of the season comes in just two weeks with the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 3 May.