Toyota Racing completed a remarkable debut season with a commanding victory from pole position in the Six Hours of Shanghai, the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The winning margin of almost a minute highlighted the impressive speed of the Toyota TS030 Hybrid and its innovative Toyota Hybrid System - Racing. It was the third victory this year for the #7 TS030 Hybrid from just six races in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The hybrid system, using unique super-capacitor energy storage technology, also propelled the hybrid race car to three pole positions and four fastest laps during the season. Maximum points from the weekend elevated Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre to third place in the drivers' world championship, despite contesting only six of the eight rounds.
Delighted with the victory and the overall success during the season, Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director of Toyota Racing said, "Today was a great performance from the whole team, with the right strategy, some excellent pit stops and fantastic driving by Alex and Nicolas. At the end of a rewarding season, I would like to thank all involved for their tremendous effort. Three wins and three pole positions in our first season exceeds our expectations so we are very satisfied."
An ecstatic Alex Wurz, Toyota Racing Team Driver said, "It was a good race for us and a 100 per cent perfect race weekend; from Friday onwards every step we have taken has been correct. That was the absolute maximum and it was good enough to win. It has been a terrific season for us. At the beginning we had some emotional and performance ups and downs but we improved every day and with every step. That is what counts and that's why we ended the season as race winners."
The Toyota hybrid stamped its grip on the race from the outset with Lapierre pulling away from his Audi rivals at the rate of one second per lap. Lapierre handed over a half-minute lead to Wurz who kept up the relentless speed. The strategy of fitting new tyres at each pitstop helped maximise the TS030 Hybrid's pace and enabled the team to seize control of the race.
Both drivers completed further double stints each, with Wurz crossing the line to take victory and secure a winning climax to Toyota Racing's first season of competition. The final margin was 58.57 seconds, during 191 laps, 7 pit stops, and the fastest lap is 1min 48.815 secs.
The win in China marks the first time a Toyota team has recorded consecutive victories in an FIA World Championship event since 1994, and follows victories earlier in October at Fuji Speedway in Japan and in September at Sao Paolo, Brazil.