Derek Bell: Why Toyota is 'brave' to return to the Le Mans 24 Hours

In this week's Motorsport Show, five-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Derek Bell says race favourite Toyota is "brave" to return to Le Mans and aim for its first win

Derek Bell: Why Toyota is 'brave' to return to the Le Mans 24 Hours

Toyota is the sole hybrid LMP1 competitor in this year's field and has an inherent performance advantage against the independent non-hybrid entries.

While Bell believes "Toyota should win on paper", and is likely to avoid the "wheel-to-wheel" racing it faced against Audi and Porsche in recent years, it will have its own pressure to cope with.

"I don't envy them [Toyota] at all, because they've had two years where they were in a position to win and didn't, and of course now they've put all their eggs in one basket having another go at it and they're brave to do it," Bell told host Peter Windsor.

"I think if they win people aren't going to say 'that was great', they'll say 'about bloody time'."

Bell also discusses how race management and car conservation is key at Le Mans, recalling his first win at the Circuit de la Sarthe in 1975.

He waved the sister Gulf Mirage GR8 car of Vern Schuppan past on the opening lap but still won after his team-mate's car suffered an alternator failure.

Technical pundit Craig Scarborough talks about how the much-discussed Equivalence of Technology will affect the top-tier class and how a "slam-dunk" win for Toyota is not guaranteed if it trips up.

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Series WEC
Drivers Rob Bell
Teams Toyota Racing
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