Toyota Racing continued its winning start to the FIA World Endurance Championship season with victory in a tense second race of 2014, the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi won the race to extend their lead in the Drivers’ World Championship and record a third consecutive win for the #8 car.
Toyota Racing also extended its advantage in the Manufacturers’ World Championship with the #7 TS040 Hybrid of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima finishing third after an exciting race.
The #8 car took the lead in the second hour of the six-hour race from the polesitting Porsche and was able to hold that position until the chequered flag.
Driver of the #8 car Anthony Davidson said: “To win again here for one of the team’s home races, with a lot of support from the guys from Cologne, was fantastic. Sébastien did a lot of the hard work in the difficult middle part of the race so when I got in it was pretty much job done.
“It’s great we got two cars on to the podium again. Now our attention has to turn to the big one in June. I am so confident in the package we have and the team around us; it really feels like we are flourishing at the right time.”
Team mate Lapierre added: “We have seen here that our Le Mans package is working well and the hybrid system was wonderful. We are very happy with this result; it is the best way to get ready for Le Mans.”
Watch the Highlights of the race
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After an intense battle with the lead Audi, the #7 car finished third. Alex Wurz said: “It was an interesting race. I wish we could have done another one-two; it was very close but a few little details stopped that happening. For me personally the race was quite eventful. It was not easy, not straightforward. Occasionally we had the pace but generally our car was very nervous so we couldn’t push as hard as the sister car. But nevertheless we scored points so as a team we extended our lead in the World Championship and that is cool.”
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President said: “I am proud of the whole team for our effort today. To see Toyota Racing leading the Manufacturers’ World Championship is very satisfying and it gives us big motivation for the challenge ahead at Le Mans. It was nice to see such a big crowd today and I think we gave them an entertaining race.
“It’s hard for the team and drivers because we have to give absolutely everything to get the best result; so well done to everyone for that performance. Now we have a demanding period ahead as we prepare for Le Mans. As we have seen many times, Le Mans is a unique race and many things can happen. We will be working flat out to get ready and give ourselves the best possible chance.”
By Iain Reid