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TOYOTA GAZOO Racing clinches first-place victory at 6 Hours of Imola 

14 May 2024

Muscat – TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) clinched the first place in the 6 Hours of Imola, the second round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), after an incredible team effort. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Nyck De Vries took victory in the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar despite turbulent conditions thanks to faultless driving and intelligent strategy on a day of twists and turns among a 19-strong vehicle line-up.

This round marks TGR’s first outing at the 4.909km Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, located around 40 km south-east of Bologna in the Emilia-Romagna region. It replaces Monza as Italy’s representative on the 2024 schedule, the circuit boasting its own illustrious motorsports history since its opening in 1953 and hosting of three World Championship endurance races throughout the years.

Nobuyuki Takemura, Chief Representative of Middle East & Central Asia Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation, said: “Congratulations to Conway, Kobayashi and De Vries for battling it out to the top of the podium in the team’s first participation in 6 Hours of Imola! The Toyota GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar continues to prove itself across the world’s most demanding racetracks and increasingly staunch competition. Toyota’s ongoing motorsports participation allows us to shape a more sustainable future fueled by our passion for developing ‘ever-better cars’ to ensure that no one is left behind. My most sincere thanks go to our teams who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this most recent win a reality, as well as every Toyota fan whose support fuels our ongoing success.”

The TGR crew used smart strategy and pace around their perfectly executed pit stops to gain positions throughout the day. Conway, whose fighting spirit was on full display in the opening laps, expertly navigated the narrow Imola circuit to move into the top three before handing the No.7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar to De Vries at the first driver change. He put intense pressure on the competition before rain and different strategies in the fourth hour. De Vries made an opportunistic move to take second and moments later took the lead.

Rain intensified during the safety car period, particularly in the final sector. When the green flags waved, TGR immediately pitted for wet tyres, allowing it to lap significantly faster than its Hypercar rivals. He soon emerged into a lead of more than 20 seconds as the race entered its final 90 minutes.

In the last hour, Kobayashi made his penultimate pit stop and quickly returned to the front. But with less fuel on board than his rivals, the No.7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar had to drive efficiently going into the final stretch, setting up a tense showdown for victory. He fought valiantly to hold onto the lead under intense pressure to win in Italy for the second successive season, by a mere 7.081secs.

Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the Nürburgring 24 ‎Hours endurance race. Toyota’s participation in these events was overseen by separate entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established TGR, ‎to consolidate all of its motorsport’s activities under one in-house brand. Representing ‎Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,’ TGR highlights the role of motorsports as a fundamental pillar of Toyota’s commitment to ‎making ‘ever-better’ cars. Harnessing years of experience gained under the extreme conditions of various motorsports events, TGR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.

The TGR team will be competing for a sixth consecutive victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the highlight of the WEC season set to take place from 10-11 June.

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