The GAZOO Racing (GR) team earned its first win of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season after an eventful 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. World Champions Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and José María López, driving the No.7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar, overcame a strong challenge from Hypercar competitors, as well as adverse weather, to win round two of the 2022 season, the final event before the Le Mans 24 Hours.
With the stunning performance at the 7.004 km circuit in Stavelot, Belgium, the team celebrated its sixth consecutive victory at Spa-Francorchamps with seven wins out of eight races for Toyota GR010 Hybrid Electric since the Hypercar was introduced at Spa in 2021.
The race had started full of promise for the GR team that showcased its unmatched capabilities throughout the stages. As the race progressed, extreme weather conditions led to several off-track incidents, interruptions, and red flag periods. However, Mike and Kamui maintained steady performance throughout the race amid the challenges.
Inside the last hour-and-a-half, José María took the wheel of the No.7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar for the final stint, which saw a close battle among the three Hypercar contenders amid weather-driven disruptions. But eventually, José María managed to lead the race’s final stages, especially as track conditions improved continuously and crossed the line after six hours to win by 27.473secs from the competitor car.
Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, commented: “Thank you to Mike, Kamui, and José María for their first victory of this season. I am pleased with the first victory of the new Team Principal, Kamui, and thank you for your hard work in your dual role. Heavy rain posed a significant challenge, but we at Toyota truly believe that the car must be safe to drive in any circumstance. The race gave us yet another opportunity to gain invaluable insights into making ever-better cars that drivers can drive with confidence. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in the team work closely together to support our two GR010 Hybrid Electric vehicles to deliver an exciting race at Le Mans. Thank you to all the fans for your support for us this time as well.”
Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Toyota’s participation in these events was overseen by separate entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established GR, to consolidate all of its motorsport’s activities under one in-house brand. Representing Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,’ GR highlights the role of motorsports as a fundamental pillar of Toyota’s commitment to making ‘ever-better’ cars. Harnessing years of experience gained under the extreme conditions of various motorsports events, GR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.
The GR team will challenge for a fifth consecutive victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the highlight of the WEC season set to take place from 11-12 June.