TOYOTA Racing brings the curtain down on a successful first season in the FIA World Endurance Championship with the final round of 2012, the Six Hours of Shanghai in China.
A thrilling victory in the previous round at Fuji Speedway gave the TS030 HYBRID its second win from just five races, with the TOYOTA Racing drivers heading the first-ever all-hybrid podium in an FIA world championship race.
Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre will share the #7 TS030 HYBRID this weekend, with fellow Fuji winner Kazuki Nakajima returning to the Super GT series for a round in Motegi, Japan.
Alex and Nicolas travel to China directly from Japan, where they took part in the Motor Sport Japan demonstration event in Tokyo.
This weekend’s race takes place at the Shanghai International Circuit, a 5.451km track on the outskirts of the city, which was completed in 2004.
As at Fuji Speedway, there will be four designated hybrid recovery zones in Shanghai, where the super capacitor-based TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing can be charged prior to releasing a 300hp boost.
Action begins on Friday with two 90-minute practice sessions (10.30-11.30, 15.00-16.30). Saturday sees final practice (09.40-10.40) before qualifying (13.55-14.15), while warm-up on Sunday (08.00-08.20) precedes an 11.00 race start.
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “It has been an emotional and successful first season in the FIA World Endurance Championship for TOYOTA Racing. We have achieved more than we expected when the programme was confirmed just over one year ago, in October 2011. To be able to compete with a competitor as strong as Audi in such a short timeframe is a great credit to all involved in the project. Now we look forward to the final race of this exciting season and we want to finish with a strong performance. We have great memories of our victory at Fuji Speedway earlier this month but Shanghai is another race and we have to start again, aiming to avoid mistakes to get the best possible result.”
Alex Wurz: “I am quite looking forward to China. I know the track from Formula 1 and I like the flow of corners, which I think will be quite fitting to our car. I am just happy to race the TS030 HYBRID on any track but I think Shanghai should suit us. It is the last race of the season so it is the last maximum attack and we will try to finish the season on a high. I have had a busy time since the last race, taking part in an event in Tokyo; it was cool to see so many TOYOTA fans. The whole experience in Japan was fantastic and gives us great motivation so we are going to the final race of the season ready for the challenge.”
Nicolas Lapierre: “During the winter everybody remembers the last race of the season so this race is important to us and we want to get a strong result in China. Considering what we have seen in the last few races I think we have a good chance there because the track should suit our car quite well. I’ve raced there before in A1GP so I know the lay-out pretty well, but as usual the first practice sessions will be important for us to prepare properly. We have had a great first season as TOYOTA Racing, standing on the podium three times in five races and twice as winners, so I hope we can end the season with another positive result.”