TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in pole position to secure historic WEC double

The Toyota GAZOO RACING WEC team, partnered by Acronis, is in pole position to secure a historic another drivers’ and constructers’ double after Brendon Hartley piloted home his #8 GR010 HYBRID to the front of the grid in Bahrain.

Going into the season finale, Le Mans winners Hartley, Sébastien Buemi, and Ryo Hirakawa enter the race tied on points with #36 Alpine rivals in a winner takes all encounter.

And a stunning lap of 1min 46.800secs means the #8 crew earn an extra point and starts ahead of the #93 Peugeot their #7 Toyota teammates. Another victory on Saturday would be the team’s 39th in total and would secure its fifth manufacturers’ and drivers’ World Championship double.

“It’s fantastic to get pole position, and particularly the World Championship point,” commented Hartley after his mega pole lap. “That was one of my better laps. The grip has improved a lot since practice and I got the tyres working perfectly, everything was in the right window.

“I knew when I crossed the line that it was pretty strong, so it felt really nice when I heard the gap to second place. It hasn’t been a straightforward weekend on our side of the garage up to now. We were struggling in practice this morning, when car #7 went in a different direction to us and was much better.

“We followed their set-up, so thanks to them for finding the right direction and a big thanks to the team. The qualifying result looks dominant, but I don’t think that reflects the true picture and I am expecting a tight race between us, Peugeot and Alpine.”

It’s not entirely inconceivable, however, that reigning World Champions Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López can still emerge victorious.  They retain a mathematical chance of an incredible third consecutive title.

World Endurance Championship
8 Hours of Bahrain
Bahrain International Circuit
Sakhir, Manama, Bahrain
9th to 12th November 2022

“We want to finish one-two, that is our aim, but the most important target is to win the World Championships,” added Team Principal and #7 driver Kobayashi. “Anything can happen in an endurance race and there are always risks, including managing the traffic, but we always try to maximise our performance.

“We are all united to complete this last part of the job and finish the season as World Champions. As well as the last WEC race of the season, it’s also the final rally of 2022 this weekend, so the team here in Bahrain wishes TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT a successful Rally Japan in front of our home fans.”


Acronis are proud to be the official Artificial Intelligence Partner of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team, helping the team perform to the best of their capabilities through machine learning. To find out more, please click here.

Motorsport Technology