Crash.Net Le Mans News
Toyota could 'achieve something significant'
20 February 2013
Toyota believes the updated version of its World Endurance Championship challenger, the TS030 HYBRID, will be 'even faster' than its predecessor.
Speaking following the car's launch, Alexander Wurz - who will share the number 7 car with Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima – said he believes that the Toyota team have the 'chance to achieve something really significant', and can challenge Audi for world championship and Le Mans honours.
“My first season with TOYOTA Racing was fantastic,” said Wurz. “We exceeded our expectations for our debut year in WEC. But that was only the first step and we must now improve everything to become a clear number one in endurance racing.
“Last season was very encouraging and showed we absolutely have the potential to win Le Mans and the world championship if we get everything right.”
Despite his confidence in the new car, Wurz believes constant development is necessary throughout the season if the team to make a serious title challenge.
“I expect a tough battle with Audi but I expect Toyota Racing to be extremely competitive,” he added.
“In the second half of last year we were the fastest [car] on the grid; we know they [Audi] will not stand still so we need to continue pushing and increasing our performance level. I'm really looking forward to racing with the updated car.
“The guys have worked incredibly hard to fine-tune everything and we can feel a definite improvement. We have a chance to achieve something really significant and we are highly motivated to take that chance.”
Team-mates Lapierre and Nakajima also praised the progress Toyota has made over the last twelve months.
“There is a great team spirit within Toyota Racing which has grown and strengthened since we all worked together at the first test in January 2012,“ said Nakajima.
Lapierre also added that the TS030's designers have 'worked hard to find even more speed' which gives Toyota the opportunity to be immediately competitive from the WEC's season opener at Silverstone, on April 14.
“We made a lot of progress,” the Frenchman said, “and this sets us up well for 2013 when our dream will be to win Le Mans and the WEC.”by George East