Despite setting the new lap record at Circuit de la Sarthe during the qualifying run of the the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Toyota suffered consecutive failures halfway through the race. Consequently, only one Toyota, car #8, finished in 9th after running into problems with their motor-generator unit. Following the results of Le Mans, Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation, issued a comment regarding the race.
Toyoda began his statement with “Sorry we weren't able to let you drive all out” addressed to the drivers. This was in part for the issues they encountered during the race despite previously telling the drivers that the cars were readied properly by mechanics and to enjoy Le Mans. He believes that “all feel the same” regarding the result of the race.
Apart from the drivers and the people related to the Toyota team, Toyoda's comment also addressed the fans and Porsche. Starting with the former, he apologized as well for not being able to meet the expectations of fans. He does however, thank them for their “passionate support for 24 hours all the way to the end,” and tells fans not to lose hope in having a victory.
In addressing the Porsche team, he both congratulated and thanked them for the fight that they had in the previous year. This year however, both teams had incidents throughout the 24 hour race adding that hybrid technology “might be that it is not yet ready for the long distance of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
To close, Toyoda says that the company will continue to enhance their technologies even further to provide for customers by testing them in an extreme environments such as Le Mans. He also says Toyota will continue to make an effort to make “even-better cars,” and tells everyone to look forward to what they can achieve.
Read the full statement of Akio Toyoda here