Toyota confirms reduced line-up for World Endurance Championship
|By Gary Watkins||Friday, July 26th 2013, 08:18 GMT|
Toyota's solo entry in the next two rounds of the World Endurance Championship will be driven by its best-placed trio in the points table.
As revealed by AUTOSPORT, the Japanese manufacturer will run just one TS030 HYBRID in the majority of the remainder of the series and that it will be driven by Anthony Davidson, Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Buemi at the Interlagos and Austin rounds of the series in September.
The decision to run one car after fielding two in the opening three rounds of the WEC will, according to a team statement, allow the team to "make best use of its available resources" as it develops a new car for the 2014 LMP1 regulations.
The reality is that it had little intention of running two cars in the full series: it initially made one full-season entry and planned to run a second car in the first three rounds, but was persuaded by WEC bosses to make two regular entries in the interests of the championship.
Toyota will focus on Davidson, Sarrazin and Buemi in the next two races because they are best placed to challenge the two Audi crews in the championship.
They lie third in the points, 31 points off the lead, while fellow Toyota drivers Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre are a further 26 points behind in fifth place.
Toyota is then likely to run two TS030s at its home race at Fuji in October and will then revert back to a solo entry for the final races in Shanghai and Bahrain. It is expected to stick with Davidson, Sarrazin and Buemi only if they retain a chance of winning the championship.
Wurz and Lapierre will focus on 2014 development testing and simulations, according to today's statement. The priority for Kazuki Nakajima, who joined them at Spa and Le Mans, will be his race programmes in Super Formula and Super GT.