A triumphant return for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing at Imola

fia wec | 29.04.2024

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing marked a triumphant return to the winner's circle at the dramatic 6 Hours of Imola, showcasing exceptional teamwork and skill in the second round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and Nyck de Vries delivered a thrilling victory in the #7 GR010 HYBRID amidst challenging weather conditions and fierce competition within the 19-strong Hypercar field.

Despite starting from eighth position, Sébastien Buemi showcased his trademark skill and determination, navigating the challenging Imola circuit where overtaking opportunities were scarce. Through strategic pit stops and intelligent racecraft, Buemi and his co-drivers, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa, mounted a remarkable comeback, ultimately clinching a strong fifth-place finish in their #8 GR010 HYBRID.

The victory at Imola not only signifies TOYOTA GAZOO Racing's first triumph of the season but also narrows the gap to Porsche in the Manufacturers' World Championship, now standing at just nine points heading into round three at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 11 May.

Strategic pit stops and impressive pace propelled both cars forward. As rain intensified, the GR010 HYBRIDs demonstrated their agility by swiftly adapting to wet tires, ultimately outpacing their rivals on the wet track.

In a thrilling conclusion, Kamui Kobayashi held off relentless pressure to secure victory, while Brendon Hartley and the #8 crew, despite facing setbacks, showcased their determination by battling to the end.

“Congratulations to car #7 for their performance and the win. Obviously for the team it is a fantastic comeback, from the challenges we faced in Qatar to winning here. On car #8 we had a difficult race. Starting eighth made my stint more challenging because it was difficult to overtake. In the end we finished fifth, so we made up positions and we were in the fight for the podium. I’m a bit disappointed the result is not better but it’s a great day for the team and we will work hard to come back stronger in Spa.” Sébastien Buemi