Toyota Racing fought a brave battle at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, to eventually claim a podium finish at the endurance race.
The No8 Toyota Hybrid TS040 of Anthony Davidson, Nicholas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi finished third to maintain their lead in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and record Toyota’s fifth top-three finish at Le Mans.
It was a bitter blow for the Toyota team when the No7 car of Alex Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima was sidelined after having previously kept a strong lead.
In fact it was the No7 Toyota Motorsport car that had started the race in the pole position, but sadly, the team’s Hybrid vehicle fell victim to electrical problems.
It was when the race neared its 14-hour mark that Toyota’s problems began and sadly the team was unable to fully recover.
Again, the No8 car saw its prospects of contesting victory dashed when it was involved in a multi-car accident after the heavens opened.
It was Lapierre who managed to get the Toyota No8 back to the pits, but necessary repairs ate into the race, taking up 50 minutes of valuable time.
However, in spite of a further delay later in the race, Davidson, Lapierre and Buemi climbed up the leader board to claim a bittersweet overall third place.
In the No8 car, Anthony Davidson, said: “We had the speed all along but it didn’t go right in the tricky conditions and the car was heavily damaged.
“From there we were on the back foot. It could have happened to anyone, it was just one of those things.”
It was Audi who scooped the eventual one-two spots at this year’s Le Mans, but Toyota took a well-earned third-place on the podium.
The next round of the 2014 WEC will be at the Circuit of the America in Texas in September, but race car fans can see the Toyota Hybrid TS040 in action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s hill climb, 26-29 June.