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#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Brendon Hartley
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WEC Spa-Francorchamps
Analysis

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

It was a messy race for Toyota and perhaps a messy start to the Hypercar era for the World Endurance Championship. The Japanese manufacturer won last Saturday’s Spa 6 Hours with Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima, but its pair of GR010 HYBRIDs didn’t have what might be described as clean races. And the politics that many are predicting will be ever-present in the new formula of top-class prototype racing was never far away.

Toyota triumphed on a day when a pretty straightforward run for the Signatech Alpine squad’s grandfathered LMP1 car wasn’t enough to overcome two new Le Mans Hypercars that suffered a series of hiccups. Andre Negrao, Nicolas Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxiviere split the GR010s at the chequered flag, but ended up just over a minute behind the #8 car in second place.

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