Toyota hybrids chasing WEC hat trick in Bahrain
Toyota GAZOO Racing is chasing its third successive victory when the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship concludes with this weekend's 6 Hours of Bahrain.
The team's 1000hp #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid race car, crewed by Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, won the last two rounds in Japan and China.
Victory in Bahrain would give the #8 car and Toyota five WEC wins for the season, one more than rivals Porsche.
Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José Maria López in Toyota #7 have captured four pole positions this season and are chasing their first victory.
Toyota has won twice on the 5.412km Bahrain International Circuit, in 2013 and its WEC winning 2014 season.
Team president Hisatake Murata said the race has extra motivation with the opportunity to finish the season on a high and take the most wins for 2017.
"After our strong performances in Fuji and Shanghai we are ready to fight in Bahrain and give the fans an exciting battle," he said.
Sébastien Buemi said the prospect of stable weather will let the Toyota GAZOO Racing team concentrate on wringing the most from the car and tyres.
"Our car should be quite well suited to the characteristics of the circuit, with heavy braking at the end of long straights," he said.
Mike Conway in the #7 car said they will look to convert their qualifying pace into a victory.
"We learned a lot in Shanghai about (managing) tyre wear," he said. "Bahrain is a similar circuit in that regard, so hopefully that will be to our advantage."
José Maria López will experience Bahrain for the first time in the TS050, but knows the circuit from his drives in a GP2 car.
"Our car has been quick in the last two races, so we can expect to be competitive again in Bahrain, but we know we are in for a tough fight," he said.