Toyota tame Le Mans 24 Hours

Published 18 June 2018

Toyota’s persistence, patience and perseverance has paid dividends with Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso in their TS050 Hybrid winning the Le Mans 24 Hours race after 388 tense and often dramatic laps at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López, who led for long periods in the other TS050 Hybrid, made it a perfect result for Toyota with second place in front of 256,900 fans.

“This is definitely the biggest win of my career,” said Buemi. “I struggle to realise it right now because in the last few laps I couldn't forget 2016 when we led until the last lap.”

Toyota had entered 47 cars at Le Mans prior to this weekend's race and finished on the podium six times, including runner-up five times. It has become only the second Japanese manufacturer to win the race, held this year for the 86th time.

The two TS050 HYBRIDs were evenly matched throughout the 5,286km and swapped places several times during a race which featured its share of drama for the leaders.

The difference between the two cars came down to an impressive overnight stint from double Formula One World Champion, Alonso, who re took the lead from its sister car.

“It has been amazing. We know how important and iconic Le Mans is in the world of motorsport and as a team we achieved an amazing result,” said Alonso.

“Every moment was a reminder of how tough and long this race is, anything can happen so we tried to execute our race and stay calm. Happily everything worked well. The race was hard because the two cars were very close, within one minute after 23 hours.”

The result is a culmination of intense and determined efforts by Toyota Gazoo Racing colleagues from Higashi-Fuji and Cologne to continually enhance its hybrid-electric technology, which won this weekend's race using 35% less fuel than in 2012, when it returned to endurance racing.

“I am so proud of everyone in the team for this result. It has been our dream to win Le Mans and finally we have achieved it,” said Hisatake Murata, the Team President. “Thank you so much to everyone for their incredible hard work and never-give-up attitude. To win Le Mans for Toyota after so many frustrations and disappointments is a truly magical moment.”


Le Mans 24 Hours result:

1, Toyota TS050 Hybrid (Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso) 388 laps;

2, Toyota TS050 Hybrid (Davidson, Lopez, Kobayashi) +2 laps;

3, Rebellion Racing (Laurent/Beche/Menezes) +12 laps;

4, Rebellion Racing (Lotterer/Jani/Senna) +13 laps;

5, G-Drive Racing (Rusinov/Vergne/Pizzitola) +19 laps;

6, Signatech Alpine (Lapierre/Negrão/Thiriet) +21 laps.

Racing-strategy-secures-Nick-Cassidy-Super-Formula-win_ARTICLE_300x170 Racing strategy secures Nick Cassidy Super Formula win

Published 23 April 2019

New Zealand Grand Prix and Toyota Racing Series champion Nick Cassidy had a perfect start to the Super Formula Championship with a first-round win at Suzuka Circuit in Japan, during the Easter weekend.

Read more

Nick-Cassidy-to-chase-championship-title-in-Japan_ARTICLE_300x170 Nick Cassidy to chase championship title in Japan

Published 22 February 2019

After a successful 2018 racing season in Japan, New Zealand driver Nick Cassidy will continue to drive for Lexus and Toyota in Japan’s two premier classes, Super GT and Super Formula in 2019.

Read more

Toyota-Gazoo-Racing’s-Tanak-wins-Rally-of-Sweden_ARTICLE_300x170 Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Tanak wins Rally of Sweden

Published 18 February 2019

Ott Tanak, lead driver in the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, heads the World Rally Championship for the first time in his career after winning the Rally of Sweden last night.

Read more

Contact Toyota Racing

Follow us

TRS logo Social Media
Toyota Racing New Zealand
Toyota New Zealand
Toyota 86 New Zealand