Toyota Racing should be jubilant for taking the third place at the Le Mans 24 Hours, but was instead frustrated since it could have finished first no thanks to a multi-car accident and an electrical problem.
The team’s No. 7 Toyota Hybrid TS040 – piloted by Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima -- started from a pole position and had been having a strong lead until it fallen prey to electrical issues near the 14-hour mark, causing it to retire from the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The team’s No. 8 Toyota Hybrid TS040, piloted by Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi, finished third at the Circuit de la Sarthe on the weekend but still managed to hold to their lead in the World Endurance Championship. It was also Toyota’s fifth top-three finish at Le Mans.
The No. 8 was also en route to securing top finish but failed after being involved in a multi-car accident that caused some damage to the race car. While Lapierre managed to bring the car back to the pits for repairs, the car lost 50 minutes of precious time.
The No. 8 car had to crawl back from eight laps down to be able to secure championship points. Eventually, Davidson, Lapierre and Buemi managed to secure third place at the checkered flag.
Davidson remarked that while they had the speed all along, “it didn’t go right in the tricky conditions and the car was heavily damaged.” He said that being from below top 30 after the accident to a podium finish shows the speed of the Toyota Hybrid TS040.
The Toyota Hybrid TS040 is due to challenge the next round of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas in September. But before that, the Toyota Hybrid TS040 will challenge the renowned hill climb course at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. [source: Toyota]