TOYOTA GAZOO Racing kicks off the second half of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season this weekend with a trip across the Atlantic for round five, the 6 Hours of Mexico.
The team has won two of the four races so far in 2017 and continues to challenge Porsche for the manufacturers’ World Championship. Going into the Mexican round, TOYOTA is 39.5 points behind in second, with a maximum of 44 points available each race weekend.
The #7 TS050 HYBRID of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López has been on pole position three times this season and the crew travels to Mexico targeting a first win of the year.
In the #8 TS050 HYBRID, Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima are fighting for the drivers’ World Championship following victories at Silverstone and Spa. They are 30 points behind the #Porsche 2 crew in the standings.
At 2,285m above sea level, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has much thinner air than most circuits, making it harder to generate downforce. So, as at the previous race at the Nürburgring in mid July, the team will use its high-downforce aerodynamic package.
The 4.304km circuit in Mexico City rejoined the WEC calendar in 2016 after a 25-year absence. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing earned a return to the podium in that race with its #6 car, which completed a remarkable recovery after missing most of practice due to an accident and subsequent monocoque change.
This year’s race represents Hisatake Murata’s first as Team President and the team is determined to start the non-European leg of the season with a positive result for both cars, prior to trips to the United States, Japan, China and Bahrain.
Hisatake Murata, Team President: “I am looking forward to the Mexico race; it is my first race as Team President so I would like to celebrate with a strong result. The team in Higashi-Fuji and Cologne has worked very hard since Nürburgring to prepare our TS050 HYBRIDs for Mexico and the other non-European circuits, which suit our car quite well. We are still fighting for both World Championships so we know it is important to score a lot of points in every race. That is our clear target for Mexico.”
José María López (TS050 HYBRID #7): “After our pole position and podium at the Nürburgring, we are really looking forward to Mexico. Based on last year’s race in Mexico I think the track suits our car really well, so I’m very much looking forward to it. As it’s a Latin place and not far from Argentina I think we will see many enthusiastic fans as well and I love the atmosphere with those guys.”