TOYOTA GAZOO Racing aims for Le Mans Hypercar history

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing aims for Le Mans Hypercar history

14.08.2021: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing aims to defend its crown and make Hypercar history in the 89th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours next week. Following a hat-trick of Le Mans victories with its TS050 HYBRID, this year the team competes with the new GR010 HYBRID Hy

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing aims to defend its crown and make Hypercar history in the 89th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours next week.

Following a hat-trick of Le Mans victories with its TS050 HYBRID, this year the team competes with the new GR010 HYBRID Hypercar for the first time at the Circuit de la Sarthe and is determined to extend its winning run.

Reigning World Champions Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López, in the #7 GR010 HYBRID, have endured heartbreak at Le Mans in recent years, particularly when mechanical issues denied them victory despite domination in 2019 and 2020. They go into the biggest race of the year following wins in the 6 Hours of Monza last month.

Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, however, have enjoyed a remarkable run, winning at La Sarthe for three consecutive years, including last year's triumph alongside Brendon Hartley. The #8 GR010 HYBRID trio lead the drivers' standings following wins in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and 8 Hours of Portimao.

With double FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) points on offer, Le Mans is significant in the battle for world titles. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing holds a 30-point advantage over Alpine following three of six WEC races, while the #8 crew lead the drivers' standings by just six points from their #7 team-mates.

In addition to its quest for a fourth consecutive Le Mans win, the 2021 edition marks the 10th time Toyota has competed at La Sarthe with a hybrid-powered prototype. In the nine attempts so far, the team has won three times, earned five pole positions and finished on the podium a total of nine times.

This year, it faces Hypercar competition from Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, which enters two cars, as well as Alpine, which participates with a grandfathered LMP1 car. But the challenge of Le Mans comes from the gruelling nature of the event itself as well as from on-track rivals.

With around 25,000 gear changes, 4,000km at full throttle and over 2million wheel rotations in a typical race, Le Mans is a true test of endurance.

Preparations for the challenge began back in October 2020 when the GR010 HYBRID tested for the first time and, since then, eight further tests have been used to optimise the car's performance and reliability, in addition to the three WEC races. The final step in that journey will come on Sunday, the only official test day at the 13.626km Circuit de la Sarthe.

Two days of intense preparation lead into five hours of practice and a qualifying session on Wednesday. Thursday sees a further five hours of practice, either side of the 30-minute Hyperpole session at 9pm CEST, when TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will challenge for a fifth consecutive pole position.

The 89th Le Mans 24 Hours will begin at 4pm CEST on Saturday, in front of a reduced-capacity crowd of 50,000, when 62 cars and 186 drivers follow in the footsteps of legends, adding their own stories to a race which first took place in 1923.

Hisatake Murata, Team President:

“It is always a great honour to participate at Le Mans and we are proud to return as three-time winners. We are putting all our effort into extending that winning run by becoming the first Hypercar Le Mans winners. The engineers and mechanics have been working closely with the drivers to fine-tune the car, always with the target of being strong in Le Mans.

It will not be an easy task because we face a tough fight with our Hypercar competitors, and the GR010 HYBRID will participate at Le Mans for the first time, which is always a technical challenge. I am happy to welcome fans back to the circuit, particularly for this race where they create such a special atmosphere. Thank you to the ACO for working so hard to make this happen. I am sure this will be a Le Mans to remember for everyone.”


Mike Conway (GR010 HYBRID #7):

“All the hard work during the year is for this race so I can't wait to get in the car and drive. Le Mans is a sprint race nowadays; we have to race as hard as we can for the complete 24 hours and control the race where possible. We know from experience that there are many factors which can come into play, and we've been unlucky in the past on the #7 car.

But that doesn't change how we approach Le Mans as drivers. We will get our heads down and do all the preparation to be ready for the race, as we did in the past few years. Then we hope Le Mans is kind to us and we can finally get the win.”

Kamui Kobayashi (GR010 HYBRID #7):

“I look forward to Le Mans every year; it is the highlight of the season and the motivation for all our effort. It's a great experience to drive at Le Mans, particularly in qualifying when you have new tyres and low fuel. I have achieved the pole position three times already but the big target is to win the race.

We have been so strong in the past few years on car #7 but always something happened and we couldn't get to the end without trouble. So we need to avoid any issues this year and keep pushing for a perfect race. We are all staying focused and optimistic.”

José María López (GR010 HYBRID #7):

“We become stronger thanks to difficult moments and I believe that is the case for car #7 at Le Mans. Now we don't think about what has happened in the past; we look forward and try to always improve, as a team and as drivers.

It is like a family with Mike, Kamui and me, as well as our engineers and mechanics, and we all have the same target: to win Le Mans. As a team I believe we are stronger than ever and we know what we need to do. It is never easy at Le Mans and for sure this year will be a hard one, but we will give maximum effort.”

Sébastien Buemi (GR010 HYBRID #8):

“Le Mans is a special place and a special race for me. It's a part of my family and I remember hearing about my grandfather racing there in the 1960s. I remember visiting the Geneva Motor Show as a kid and getting my photo taken next to the Toyota TS020.

Back then I could never imagine being here as a three-time winner. I am thankful to have the opportunity to fight for another victory but I know it will be a big challenge, with a new car and strong competitors. We know what it takes to win so we have to stick to our plan and make sure we avoid mistakes. Then we will see where we are on Sunday.”

Kazuki Nakajima (GR010 HYBRID #8):

“The atmosphere at Le Mans is incredible. When I raced at Le Mans for the first time in 2012 I was amazed by the sound and the passion of the fans. We really missed that last year so I am very pleased that we will see spectators back again.

Le Mans is the most challenging race in the world and, as we all know from experience, anything can happen. We are all pushing hard for the GR010 HYBRID to be the first Hypercar winner; we will be fully focused on our job and hoping that luck is on our side. We can take nothing for granted but we will give everything to be in the centre of the podium again.”

Brendon Hartley (GR010 HYBRID #8):

“I fell in love with Le Mans from my first visit, which was a bit of a surprise to be honest. The atmosphere is incredible and I really enjoy the team element, everyone working together towards that one goal. All the mechanics and engineers make a super-human effort, the drivers all work together and share information.

We have to work as one big team to be successful and that's what we've been doing to get our GR010 HYBRID ready for the biggest challenge. We all come to Le Mans dreaming of victory but there is a lot of hard work over the next days to give ourselves the best chance.”

Alastair Moffitt- photos Toyota


14.08.2021 / MaP

More News

Road To Le Mans ahead of the 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
11 GT3 and 35 LMP3 will gather in La Sarthe for the flagship event of the 2021 season, Road To Le Mans ahead of the 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The regular MLMC competitors will be joined by a number of race-by-race entries for these two special races, the first on Thursday 19 August at 19h30, and the second on Saturday at 12h15, less more >>
24 Hours Le Mans test and race schedule, broadcast and livestream
24 Hours Le MansCircuit de la Sarthe, Lemans15-22 August 2021The schedule (all times CEST)Sunday, 15 August9:00 am to 1:00 pm – Pre-test session 1 more >>
Porsche driversí comments before the 24h Le Mans race
24 Hours Le MansCircuit de la Sarthe, Lemans18-22 August 2021Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “We were positively surprised that we were so competitive at Monza. The racetrack there needs as much top speed as the Le Mans circu more >>
An overview of the Porsche teams and drivers SP9 class at 24h Nürburgring
24 Hours Le MansCircuit de la Sarthe, Lemans18-22 August 2021GTE-Pro classPorsche GT Team #91 – R. Lietz (A) / G. Bruni (I) / F. Makowiecki (F)Porsche GT Team #92 – K. Estre (F) / N. Jani (CH) / M. more >>
Twelve Porsche 911 RSR tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans
FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 4, Le Mans (France)18-22 August 2021The Porsche works team has set a high benchmark for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Fielding two Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche hopes to lay the foundation for yet another title win in more >>
Philippe Sinault, 2021 Spirit of Le Mans
The Spirit of Le Mans Trophy honours the men and women who embody the values of endurance racing: dedication, commitment, teamwork and sporting endeavour. The recipient of the 2021 award is Philippe Sinault, Team Manager of Alpine Elf Matmut, entered this year in the Hypercar class and ever-present in the discipline since 2009. more >>
Alpine Elf Matmut Endurance Team and its partners launch #Fanzone36
.. first virtual fanzone for a motorsport event  As part of the 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (August 21st and 22nd), Alpine Elf Matmut Endurance Team will launch a fully immersive virtual fanzone combining live stream, gaming, and augmented reality. This first in the world of motorsport will surely delight fans.  more >>
Motortrend is the exclusive streaming home of the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans in the US and Canada
Stream Every Angle and Hour of the 24 HOURS OF LE MANS With a Customizable Multi-Screen Experience Only on the MotorTrend App Beginning Saturday, August 21 at 9 AM EDT / 6 AM PDT--Live Practice, Qualifying Sessions and Additional Le Mans Content Stream on the MotorTrend App Starting at 12:45 PM EDT / 9:45 AM PDT on Wednesday, August 18 more >>
Panis Racing and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports "full frame" at the 24 hours of Le Mans!
Two original Art Cars for an exceptional eventThe #65 Panis Racing Oreca-Gibson and the #24 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports sister car will be on the grid of the legendary Le Mans race dressed in beautiful liveries designed by artist Laurent Minguet. Those will be variations more >>
Derek Bell, 24 Hours of Le Mans Grand Marshal 2021 - Entry list download
Five-time winner Derek Bell will follow in the footsteps of Emanuele Pirro as Grand Marshal at the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans. He will lead out the 62 cars on the formation lap ahead of the 16:00 start on 21 August.   more >>
Duncan Tappy to join United Autosports Road to Le Mans Team alongside John Schauerman
•    Duncan Tappy to race #23 Ligier JS P320 alongside John Schauerman •    Standing in for Wayne Boyd who will race in the Le Mans 24 Hours•    Four car Road to Le Mans entry for United Autosports more >>
Aston Martinís world champion Nicki Thiim joins Paul Dalla Lana at 24 hours of Le Mans with Northwest AMR
    Reigning GTE Pro title holder Nicki Thiim returns to the FIA World Endurance Championship for Le Mans    Danish works driver replaces Augusto Farfus alongside Paul Dalla Lana    Four Aston Martin Vantage GTEs to defend Le Mans GTE Am victory    D’station Racing, TF Sport and N more >>
Wayne Boyd to make Le Mans 24 Hours debut with United Autosports
•    Wayne Boyd to join United Autosports Le Mans 24 Hours team•    LMP3 champion to join #23 Oreca 07 alongside Paul Di Resta and Alex Lynn•    2020 Le Mans 24 Hours race winners three-car line up complete  more >>
John Elkann to wave the start of the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans
The official starter at the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans will be John Elkann, chairman of Ferrari. He will unfurl the flag at 16:00 on 21 August to unleash the pack of 62 cars.  The 89th staging of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will get underway on Satu more >>
24 Hours of Le Mans tickets on sale from tomorrow
After last year’s closed-door event, this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on 21–22 August with trackside spectators. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Monday 21 June, from 10:00 CEST. See below for details.  Tickets go more >>
Vanthoor and Bamber Join MacNeil for Le Mans 24
Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) will join Porsche Factory drivers Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) for the 24 Hours of Le Mans to run Aug. 21-22 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France.   The duo bring more >>
24 Hours of Le Mans: ticket sales open from 21 June!- Entry List
After last year’s closed-door event, the good news is that the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans (21-22 August) will be open to fans! Tickets go on general sale at 10:00 CEST on Monday 21 June. ACO members can book their tickets from 17 June, 10:00 CEST.   more >>
24 Hours of Le Mans 1923-2023: a legend in the making
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will celebrate its centenary in 2023 and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) is calling for tenders related to the exploitation of audiovisual rights to produce a documentary for the occasion. It will soon be a hundred more >>
Audiís Le Mans return is shaping up
Concept stage for new Audi sports prototype largely completed        Close cooperation with fellow group brand Porsche        First race planned for January 2023 at the Daytona 24 Hours more >>
Kris Wu becomes the first Porsche China Motorsport Representative and sets eyes on Le Mans
•    As the brand celebrated 20 years in the Chinese mainland, Porsche announced Kris Wu as its first Porsche China Motorsport Representative   •    Kris revealed his intention to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans more >>
Alex Lynn signs for United Autosports for 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours
•    2020 Le Mans winner in GTE Pro joins United Autosports for 2021 race•    Racing alongside Paul Di Resta with third driver still to be confirmed•    Alex returning to team five years after United debut more >>
24 Hours of Le Mans revs up licensing programme with IMG
Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) has renewed its longstanding, exclusive worldwide licensing representation agreement with IMG for 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's oldest active sports car endurance race, through 2024. Since being appointed in 2008, IMG more >>
24h Le Mans Entry List 2021 by class
24h Le Mans 2021Circuit de la SartheHYPERCAR   57 WEC TOYOTA GAZOO RACING JPN M Toyota GR010 - Hybrid Hybrid Mike Conway (GBR)° P Kamui Kobayashi ( more >>
The 62-strong entry list for the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans revealed - with video
The 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans will welcome an outstanding grid, featuring Hypercars for the very first time, to the iconic racetrack on 21-22 August 2021.   For the 4th round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, five Hypercars will join 25 LMP2 prototypes, plus seven LMGTE Pro and 24 LMGTE Am entries for the 16:00 CET start on Saturday 21 Au more >>
Paul Di Resta returns to United Autosports for 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours
•    Paul Di Resta joins 2020 Le Mans race winners to defend victory•    Team mates for Di Resta still to be confirmed•    Le Mans 24 Hours now scheduled for 21-22 August   more >>
The 24 Hours of Le Mans postponed to 21Ė22 August 2021
The 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans was originally due to take place on 12–13 June. However, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has now rescheduled the event to 21–22 August, when there will be a chance of spectators being able to attend the race, in strict compliance with the applicable health and safety measures. more >>
GPX Racing will not compete in the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans
16 cars competed in the GT category in the Asian Le Mans Series, which finished on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. The first four in the classification obtained an invitation to take part in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans provided they confirmed their entry before today, Tuesday 23rd February at noon. more >>
Race at Le Mans with Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus - purchase "Road to Le Mans" Forzo Watch
The limited-edition collection is available to pre-order until May 28th Your name will feature on the stunning Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus LMH007 car that races at Le Mans this year, if you buy a limited-edition Forzo watch that celebrates the American more >>
GreenGT to supply Hydrogen class powertrains at 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has selected GreenGT as sole powertrain supplier for the hydrogen prototypes to be introduced at the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans. Competitors in the new class will be free to choose the fuel cell stack for their cars.    more >>
Red Bull Advanced Technologies and ORECA to supply Hydrogen class chassis in 2024
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has announced a brand new partnership between Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT) and ORECA to collaborate on the chassis concept that will underpin all the prototypes in the future Hydrogen class at the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans. more >>
The 24H-United platform receives prestigious French award
The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic forced the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race behind closed doors in September 2020. In response, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) launched “24H United & Responsible”, an immersive digital platform to take motorsport fans to the heart of the event from wherever they were in the world. more >>
Ozz Negri Takes Seventh in 24 Hours of Le Mans -Marks full return after suffering COVID-19
Ozz Negri raced to the finish of the 2020 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, starting from pole and coming home seventh in the hugely competitive GTE-Am class. Negri shared t more >>
Goodyear celebrates double podium in 24 Hours of Le Mans return
•    Two Goodyear teams finish on the LMP2 podium •    Goodyear’s first 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2006•    Goodyear Blimp captivates the paddock and fans around the world more >>
FIA Women in Motorsport crews claim top results in 24h Le Mans
At the end of an adrenaline-fuelled 24 Hours of Le Mans, both FIA Women in Motorsport supported crews with the Richard Mille Racing Team and Iron Lynx in the Iron Dames project impressed and claimed top results in the 88th edition of the world’s greatest endurance race. more >>
Strong seventh for Cool Racing's 24 Hours of Le Mans debut
On its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut, COOL Racing’s #42 Oreca 07 finished a fantastic seventh in the LMP2 class with Alexandre Coigny, Antonin Borga and Nicolas Lapierre.  After four years of working up the prototype racing ladd more >>
Double Ferrari podium at 24 Hours of Le Mans
The Ferrari 488 GTE no. 51 was second over the line in the LMGTE Pro class, while no. 83 came third in the LMGTE Am at the end of the eightyeighth edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The world’s most famous endurance marathon was held behind closed doors for the first time, with sixteen Ferraris lining up at the start. more >>
The Signatech Alpine Elf team finishes the 24 Hours of Le Mans just off the LMP2 podium.
    Despite a technical problem that cost them two laps at the start, André Negrão, Pierre Ragues and Thomas Laurent never gave up to make an amazing comeback up the order.    Alpine now looks forward to its final race in LMP2 before moving up to the LMP1 class in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year. more >>
24 Hours of Le Mans 2020 proves to be the ultimate test of endurance
The 88th running of the world’s oldest and greatest endurance race concluded at 14:30 (local time) when the No. 8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, co-piloted by Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley, took victory after a gruelling 24 hours. Held in September fo more >>
Risi Competizione post 24 Hours of Le Mans - notes and quotes
Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro No. 82:     Sebastien Bourdais (FRA)                                                 more >>


2001-2023 full copyright