TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) has launched a special Le Mans section(1) within its official website ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hours, to be held in France on June 10-11.
Striking new visuals depicting the Toyota GR010 HYBRID #7 and #8 cars were unveiled, as well as commemorative photos of the team’s five Le Mans-winning cars from 2018-2022, which were united for the first time at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Information about events to be held during race week was also published.
1. Major events before and during the race week
Earlier this week, at the invitation of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), a unique group of historic Le Mans-winning cars were assembled for the first time at the site of the race, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary(2). TGR has been storing and exhibiting its Le Mans-winning race cars in their original condition at the team’s Cologne base, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe(3), and within Toyota Motor Corporation(4) in Japan, while the 2020 winner, a TS050 HYBRID, was permanently loaned to the Le Mans 24 Hours Museum(5) in 2021. These cars will be displayed at the Museum from June 1 to July 2. In addition, the 2018 and 2022 winning cars will be driven by two winning drivers, Alex Wurz(6) and Kazuki Nakajima(7), respectively, alongside other historic cars in the Centenary Parade around the 13.626km Circuit de la Sarthe on June 10.
Prior to the race, a demonstration run of the hydrogen-engine “ORC ROOKIE GR Corolla H2 concept” vehicle with which ROOKIE Racing participated in the Super Taikyu Series as part of activities to make ever-better motorsport-bred cars, will take place at 12:20 on June 10 at the circuit to promote the potential of hydrogen engines as an option to achieve carbon neutrality.
2. Exhibitions at the Centenary Village and ACO fan zone―introducing efforts to realize a Carbon Neutral society in Japan
During the race week, exhibitions will be held at the Centenary Village and ACO fan zone within the Circuit de la Sarthe to look back on the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours, where Toyota has honed and refined its vehicle technologies through competition with rival teams, and to introduce the various challenges for future realization of a carbon neutral society.
In particular, together with the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and Mazda Motor Corporation, the first Japanese automaker to win Le Mans in 1991, TGR will hold a themed exhibition to promote tourism to Japan and introduce its technological development efforts towards realizing a carbon neutral society in Japan. A concept car equipped with vehicle technologies that have been developed through numerous challenges in motorsports participation will be exhibited.
3. Live onboard video streaming
TGR will stream a live video feed from the onboard cameras on the GR010 HYBRID #7 and #8 cars on its official website during the Hyperpole session on June 8 and the race, which starts at 23:00 (Japan time) on Saturday, June 10.
In addition, during race week, news reports and other information will be distributed alongside TGR’s social media activities. TGR sincerely hopes fans and media will enjoy watching its battle to win the Le Mans 24 Hours for the sixth consecutive time in 2023, a significant milestone in the race’s centennial year.
The “TGR GT Cup” currently being held in Gran Turismo 7(8) will hold its third round on June 4 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, where the 24 Hours of Le Mans is held. Before the real race, please come and enjoy the race in the virtual world with GR010 HYBRID. If you enter the competition, you will receive a GR010 HYBRID Gran Turismo virtual car with the 2023 livery.
For detailed entry procedures and an outline of the event, please visit the following special website for the “TGR GT Cup 2023”.
URL https://toyotagazooracing.com/e-motorsports/join-entrant/2023/ (1) https://toyotagazooracing.com/wec/special/2023/24h-lemans/ (2) Please refer to the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe press release for more details. https://tgr-europe-newsroom.com/blog/wec/artikel/le-mans-winners-united-for-the-first-time-2/text (3) Home of the 2018 winning vehicle TS050 HYBRID and the 2021 winning vehicle GR010 HYBRID (4) Home of the 2019 winning vehicle TS050 HYBRID and the 2022 winning vehicle GR010 HYBRID (5) https://toyotagazooracing.com/wec/release/2021/0818-01/ (6) The youngest-ever winner who spearheaded Toyota’s return in 2012, remaining a key team member even after he retired from racing. (7) Now Vice Chairman of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe, he was the first Japanese pole position winner (in 2014) and the only Japanese to win three times (2018, 2019, 2020). (8) Gran Turismo 7 TM & 2023 Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. Developed by Polyphony Digital Inc. “Gran Turismo” logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing aims to maintain its dominant start to the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season when it competes in Europe for the first time this year, at the 6 Hours of Portimao.
At the season-opening 1000 Miles of Sebring, perfect team operations, exceptional driver consistency and smart tyre management delivered a one-two victory over a packed Hypercar field featuring other legendary endurance racing marques, such as Cadillac, Ferrari, Peugeot and Porsche.
Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez hold the advantage in the drivers’ standings after victory at Sebring in their #7 GR010 HYBRID. Reigning World Champions, and last year’s Le Mans winners, Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa began their title defence with a narrow second place.
After the unique challenges over the bumps in Sebring four weeks ago, Portimao marks the start of an important and intense European-based preparation period prior to the Le Mans 24 Hours, which includes the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps at the end of this month.
Sebastien and Brendon already have a Portimao victory to their name, achieved when leading home a TOYOTA GAZOO Racing one-two on WEC’s first race there, in the second round of the 2021 season. That was also Toyota’s 100th FIA World Championship sportscar race.
As well as being a challenging circuit for drivers, Portimao is also a challenge for team logistics. An epic road journey to deliver the GR010 HYBRIDs and working equipment to Portugal began on Thursday 6 April when five trucks left the team’s base in Cologne, Germany.
The trip will end on Sunday, after the team’s five trucks have passed through five countries and covered 2,500km on the way to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, near the town of Portimao on Portugal’s southern coast. That distance is the equivalent to 538 laps of the 4.653km circuit, which would take a Hypercar around 14-and-a-half hours to complete at typical race pace and accounting for pit stops.
Preparation for the second race of the season begins on Friday, with a pair of 90-minute practice sessions, during which drivers and engineers will evaluate different aerodynamic and mechanical settings on the GR010 HYBRIDs, whilst also comparing the different compounds of Michelin tyres.
After a late-morning final practice on Saturday, the starting grid will be decided by a 15-minute qualifying session at 4.20pm that afternoon. The 6 Hours of Portimao, the second round of the seven-race 2023 WEC season, begins at midday local time (1pm CEST) on Sunday.
For more information, visit https://toyotagazooracing.com/wec/release/2023/rd02-preview/.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) has announced details on the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing GT CUP (TGR GT Cup) 2023, an online race in “Gran Turismo 7” for PlayStation 5(1) (PS5) and PlayStation 4(1) (PS4).
The TGR GT Cup is a global competition held in “Gran Turismo 7” in which the GR lineup, dedicated racing cars, and other cars participate in competitive racing throughout the season. This year’s event will feature a collaborative round with TGR’s partners in the Super Taikyu series, Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) and Subaru Corporation (SUBARU). Seven qualifying rounds will be held online, and the world’s top 24 players will qualify for the final.
TGR is looking forward to once again welcoming drivers this season with a variety of exciting qualifying rounds.
The opening round is a race with the AE86 (Sprinter Trueno and Corolla Levin), a popular car in the Gran Turismo series, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. Round 3 will be a virtual version of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which marks its 100th anniversary this year. All users who enter the event will receive a GR010 HYBRID with the 2023 livery in commemoration of the fifth year of TGR’s e-Motorsports activities.
Round 4 also features a Virtual GR86/BRZ Cup to be held with round partner SUBARU. A league system will be introduced in each qualifying round according to the skill level of the drivers in order to make it easier to participate. The top-level GT1 League will be followed by two leagues: GT2 and GT3. Rankings are displayed for each league, making it easy for everyone, even beginners, to participate. Please check the opening time shown in Gran Turismo before participating as it differs depending on the league.
TGR plans to continue an active engagement in e-Motorsports activities so that motorsports can be enjoyed closer than ever before beyond the boundaries of countries and generations. The outline of the BRIDGESTONE GT Time Trial U17 by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing for participants aged 17 or younger will be announced at a later date.
(1) “PlayStation”, “PS5”, and “PS4” are registered trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
For more information, visit https://toyotagazooracing.com/e-motorsports/release/2023/0404-01/.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing dominated the opening round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) to earn a one-two victory in the 1000 Miles of Sebring in the face of strong Hypercar competition.
The GR010 HYBRID #7 of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez bounced back from a practice accident on Thursday to take victory after a hard-fought 239 laps at the home of endurance racing in the United States.
After a tense race-long battle at the front, World Champions and 2022 Le Mans winners Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa completed a perfect result for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing by finishing second in the #8 GR010 HYBRID, just 2.168secs behind.
Relentless consistency, flawless team operations and strong tyre management combined as TOYOTA GAZOO Racing overcame the challenge of new Hypercar rivals from Cadillac, Ferrari and Porsche to lap all competitors twice and earn the team’s 40th WEC victory.
Despite missing pole position on Thursday, the team was immediately in the fight at the front when the green flags waved in midday Florida sunshine. Sebastien kept pressure on the pole-sitting #50 Ferrari through the opening laps, while Mike held off a challenge to his third position.
An early safety car, due to a fifth-lap accident for a GT car, put the battle on hold for 25 minutes. During that interruption, the lead Ferrari pitted for fuel, moving the GR010 HYBRIDs to the front and defining the pattern of the race. Sebastien set a new Hypercar race lap record as he and Mike edged clear of the competition.
At the two-hour mark, little separated the GR010 HYBRIDs and their gap over the chasing pack was enough to keep them ahead through the first driver changes. Kamui took the wheel of the #7 and two laps later Brendon jumped into the race-leading #8, although he immediately came under pressure from the sister car.
As half distance approached, Kamui moved the #7 to the front and soon after, early in the fifth hour, he handed over to Jose. Ryo took the wheel of the second-placed #8 to resume an intra-team battle for victory, with the pair now a lap clear of the competition.
After Kamui and Sebastien returned to their respective cockpits, the gap at the front began to grow during the seventh hour. When Mike took the wheel of the #7 with 47 minutes remaining, he held a 23secs advantage over Brendon at the start of the final stint.
As the sun set on Sebring, Mike ticked off the remaining laps without taking risks and Brendon reduced the gap steadily. The chequered flag flew in darkness and Mike crossed the line 2.168secs ahead of the #8 to conquer the biggest-ever top-class grid for a WEC season-opener and earn maximum race points.
Hypercar battle resumes in Portugal in a month’s time with the 6 Hours of Portimao on 16 April, the second of seven races this season.
1000 Miles of Sebring – Result: 1st #7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing 239 laps 2nd #8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +2.168secs 3rd #50 Ferrari AF Corse (Fuoco/Molina/Nielsen) +2 laps 4th #2 Cadillac Racing (Bamber/Lynn/Westbrook) +2 laps 5th #5 Porsche Penske (Cameron/Christensen/Makowiecki) +4 laps 6th #6 Porsche Penske (Estre/Lotterer/Vanthoor) +4 laps
For more information, visit https://toyotagazooracing.com/wec/release/2023/rd01-race/.