TOYOTA Racing achieved an emotional runners-up finish in the Le Mans 24 Hours after a rollercoaster race which saw drivers and team overcome immense challenges.
The #8 TS030 HYBRID of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Stéphane Sarrazin finished second while the #7 of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima completed a satisfying week for the team by taking fourth.
The #7 overcame a turbulent 24 hours which saw it face several challenges, including a loss of fuel pressure early in the race, a slow in-lap to conserve fuel and two precautionary tyre changes when sensors indicated slow punctures.
With just over an hour to go, the #7 was in a thrilling battle for third until a very heavy rain shower made track conditions virtually impossible. Nicolas could do little to prevent his TS030 HYBRID sliding off the track and into the barriers.
Nico bravely brought the car back to the pits and superb work from his crew repaired the heavy damage to the front bodywork and suspension within 30 minutes. That allowed him to take the flag in fourth place.
The #8 enjoyed a much smoother run despite the difficult circumstances, losing time only when its fuel stop window twice came during safety car periods which caused Stéphane to be held at the end of pit lane until he could rejoin.
A day of perfect reliability for the #8 saw it push for victory before eventually completing the 24 hours just a lap behind the winning Audi #2.
The challenge Le Mans
24 hours and over 5,000 km – six times longer than the Indianapolis 500 and 18 times longer than a Formula One Grand Prix, the Circuit de la Sarthe is a mix of public roads and motor racing circuit, and one of, if not the most gruelling event in the motorsports calendar, testing every car and driver to their limits in terms of speed and endurance.Keep up to date at Toyota Hybrid Racing
Toyota Racing video action
You've got to see and hear it to believe it. Watch our videos of the 2013 season preview and the FIA World Endurance Championship Round 2: Six hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
2012 TS030 Hybrid
Toyota debuted its Le Mans challenger in the shape of the surprising TS030 in 2012 - successor to the TS010 and TS020 (better known as the GT-One).
The race proved to be invaluable experience, with team later converting the experience gained into three wins in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, at the Fuji Speedway in Japan, São Paula Brazil and Shanghai, China.
The efforts of the team were recognised at the Professional Motorsport World Awards, where TS030 Hybrid was named Race Car of the Year and the Toyota Hybrid System took Powertrain of the Year honours.