The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC team, partnered by Acronis, has announced no change to the all-conquering team that delivered yet another driver and constructor double in 2022.
Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa etched their name in the record books as the first to win three drivers titles and defending World Champions Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López closed out the season with yet another win in Bahrain.
It meant that the team has won the past three constructors titles, four drivers titles, five manufacturers’ and drivers’ World Championship doubles and 39 wins including five at the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans.
🚨 2023 DRIVER ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨
The line-up remains unchanged from our double title-winning 2022 season.
— TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC (@TGR_WEC) November 25, 2022
“We achieved all out targets this year, winning Le Mans, Fuji and the World Championships, thanks to the big support from Toyota and our partners,” commented Kamui Kobayashi, Team Principal and #7 car driver.
“The drivers are an important part of our team and I am happy to drive alongside Mike, José, Séb, Brendon and Ryo again in 2023. We have a strong team spirit throughout the whole team, particularly among the drivers, and we race together as one family.
“This is a big strength for our team and we need to trust and support each other next season, to be as strong as possible against the big competition in Hypercar. We are all looking forward to racing against so many manufacturers who have won Le Mans in the past.”
With the Hypercar category of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season seeing a number of new rivals up for the challenge of knocking TOYOTA GAZOO Racing off its perch, Kobayashi is determined to keep the historic momentum going in the centenary year of Le Mans.
“Winning Le Mans in its centenary year is a big target for everyone, so of course it will be difficult and our competition will be pushing extremely hard. This big fight is what we all want in motorsport and I think it will be really exciting for the fans.”
FIA Manufacturers' Hypercar World Endurance Champions 2022 🏆
— TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC (@TGR_WEC) November 16, 2022
WHAT THE OTHER DRIVERS SAID
Mike Conway (Driver, car #7):
“It’s going to be an exciting challenge in WEC next season and I am really pleased to be part of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing for the start of this new era in endurance racing. It won’t be easy, that’s for sure, with so many manufacturers joining, but to have the chance to win Le Mans in its centenary year is a massive motivation. To see such a big grid of Hypercars fighting for the victory will be something special and I’m looking forward to being part of that.”
José María López (Driver, car #7):
“I am very happy to continue in the team for another year, especially alongside Mike and Kamui. We have a really close relationship and have become like brothers over the past seasons. There is a great spirit through the whole team and we will need that to face the battle next year, when the Hypercar class will be incredibly competitive. It’s exciting for everyone, the team, the drivers and the fans. I know the team is already working flat-out to be ready and I can’t wait.”
— TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC (@TGR_WEC) November 14, 2022
Sébastien Buemi (Driver, car #8):
“I’m grateful to the team, and Toyota, for the opportunity to participate in such an incredible season for WEC and Le Mans. It’s hard to believe that this will be my 11th season with the team in WEC; we have experienced so much together and it has become like a family. We need to use all that experience, and everything we have learned over the years, to be ready for the fight next season. Clearly our target will be to retain our world titles and win Le Mans again, which would be even more special in the centenary year.”
Brendon Hartley (Driver, car #8):
“The 2023 season looks like being an incredible one for endurance racing and our job certainly doesn’t get any easier. The fight between the manufacturers will be intense, and we need to be well prepared, with a fast and reliable car; there will be no room for error. It’s a real privilege to be part of such a landmark season. Thanks to Toyota and everyone in the team, not only for a fantastic 2022 season, but for giving us as drivers the chance to be part of the fight next year.”
Ryo Hirakawa (Driver, car #8):
“I learned a lot during my first season in WEC, so I think I will come back stronger next year, and even more prepared for the big challenge. It still hasn’t sunk in that I will start the season as reigning Le Mans winner and a World Champion, but of course the target is to defend those titles. Thank you to the team, to Toyota and all our partners for giving me this opportunity and supporting us to be part of a special season in 2023. We enjoyed the moment in Bahrain, but already the whole team is focused on preparing and improving for next season.”
TEAM UP WITH ACRONIS
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