Mexican debut for Toyota Gazoo Racing
Toyota Gazoo Racing will breaking new ground this weekend, competing in the Six Hours of Mexico. The fifth round of this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship is the first top-level international sportscar race to be hosted at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City since 1991.
Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima will drive the #5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid at the 4.3km track, still chasing their first podium finish of the season. The regular line-up of Stephane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi will pilot the #6 car.
Davidson said: “I’ve never been to Mexico before, let alone this track, but I am looking forward to this race very much because I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Mexican fans, so I’m expecting a great atmosphere. My target is at least to get onto the podium and I am hopeful we have the speed to do this. We will be giving it everything we’ve got.”
By contrast, Conway has raced at the circuit and experienced the passionate crowds. “It’s going to be an intense week of work as we get used to the new track, but I’m ready and I hope we can get back in the fight.”
Although Toyota Gazoo Racing are making its debut at the venue, Toyota has raced there twice previously, with the 90C-V in 1989 and 1990.
Sitting at 2,285m above sea level, the circuit is the highest on the WEC calendar. The thin air at this altitude calls for an ultra-high-downforce aerodynamic package to generate the right level of grip, and requires additional engine and hybrid system cooling measures to be used.
In July the new aerodynamic package helped the team secure fifth and sixth place finishes at the Nürburgring on its debut. Since then, improvements have been made ready for the Mexico race, where conditions should better suit the car’s characteristics.
Test and practice sessions will take place on Thursday, with final practice and qualifying on Friday. The race will start at 13:30 local time on Saturday (19:30 BST).