WEC Second-half of season begins

The WEC (World Endurance Championship) roars back to action with the second half of the season. The WEC crews head to Mexico, for round five of the series.

Championship contender Toyota Racing drivers are eager to get right back on track, having won two of four races this season. The Japanese squad continues to challenge Porsche for the manufacturers’ 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 no.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. “I am happy to be racing again in WEC after a long summer break. Mexico is the start of the second half of our season, so it is important for the team to perform well and score good points for the manufacturers’ World Championship. I think the car will be stronger than at the Nürburgring so I am optimistic we can challenge at the front,” Kobayashi said.

In the no.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.

A pumped up Buemi said, “Mexico is a track which I really like so I am looking forward to going back there. The straight there is really long and it creates good overtaking possibilities. The stadium is also a great part of the circuit; when you enter it and see all the fans sitting in the grandstands it just feels amazing. After Nürburgring and Le Mans I really want to bounce back and fight for the win in Mexico.”

Davidson echoed, ““We are expecting to be in the fight for victories throughout the rest of the season, starting in Mexico. I didn’t race there last year as I had a rib injury so it will be my first proper taste of the circuit. We had a strong car there in 2016 and I think we will be even stronger this year. I want to race at the front and earn as many points as possible for the World Championship.”

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 Racing earned a return to the podium in that race with its no.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.