After last year's heartbreaking defeat in the last lap at Le Mans, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda declared "[t]he fight is not over!" Toyoda is , because Toyota is bringing three TS050 LMP1 prototypes to this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Porsche better watch its back.
its three-car Le Mans effort Thursday in a press release outlining its motorsports participation for 2017. In addition to Le Mans, Toyota will field a third car in the six-hour race at Spa, which directly precedes the 24-hour classic in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) calendar.
For the remainder of the WEC season, Toyota will field two TS050 LMP1 cars. One car will be driven by Toyota veterans Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, and Kazuki Nakajima; in the other, touring car-champ José María López joins Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi. Currently, the only driver confirmed for the third car is frenchman Stéphanne Sarrazin.
At Le Mans last year, Toyota came within inches of winning overall, before a technical problem caused a loss of power in its leading #5 car on the last lap, effectively handing the win to Porsche. It was one of the saddest results in modern motorsports history.
With Audi out of top-level sports car racing, and Porsche fielding only two cars, Toyota has a good shot at Le Mans glory this year. Surely, Toyota is hungry for a big win.