After being disqualified post-race from the 6 Hours of Silverstone last year, Toyota Gazoo Racing has made a comeback at the 2019-2020 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season. This time around, the automaker started the season strong, clinching a one-two victory during the season opener at the 4 Hours of Silverstone. More importantly, they were not disqualified following post-race scrutineering.
"This was a perfect way to start the new season; a one-two victory and an eventful race for the fans to enjoy. Thanks to everyone in the team for a great job today, particularly the pit crews who made up a lot of time on our rivals with their very fast tire changes, and the drivers who stayed cool in the changing conditions. We have seen that the competition is much tougher this season and our rivals will be even closer in Fuji when we experience the success handicap system for the first time,” said Hisatake Murata, team president.
Coming in first place was the #7 TS050 Hybrid driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and José María López. This would mark the 6th consecutive win for the team despite having heavier cars due to the update regulations for this season. The #7 car started in pole position and lead for most of the race up until a full-course yellow midway through. However, they were able to retake the lead later on, claiming their first win of the season.
Piloting the #8 TS050 Hybrid was Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, and Brendon Hartley. Throughout the race, they were consistently swapping places with their #7 sister car before finishing in 2nd just 1.9 seconds behind the winning Toyota.
Toyota Gazoo Racing hopes to continue their strong start to the 2019-2020 WEC season. The next leg will be held at the Fuji Speedway this coming October 6. The race will also revert back to its traditional six-hour format.