Toyota sure 2013 car LMP1 will match Audi after Silverstone defeat

Toyota is hopeful the arrival of its 2013 TS030 HYBRID will allow it to once again carry the fight to Audi in this year's World Endurance Championship

Toyota sure 2013 car LMP1 will match Audi after Silverstone defeat

The Japanese marque brought its 2012 model to the season-opening Silverstone 6 Hours in the hope of still being competitive, but while it locked out the front row in qualifying it fell short of challenging for victory in a race dominated by Audi.

The new TS030 is still in the middle of its long-distance development programme.

While Audi said its dominant one-two proved just how much it had progressed over the winter, Toyota believes it too has made strides with its 2013 car.

"Even though we brought our 2012 car to Silverstone we hoped to challenge for the victory so it is disappointing to miss out," team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita said.

"Congratulations to Audi; as expected they have made a step forward over the winter and they performed well.

"We have also found additional performance with our 2013-specification TS030 HYBRID so we are more eager than ever to see what it can do at Spa next time.

"We will work hard in the coming weeks to get back on the top step of the podium."

Formula 1 convert Sebastien Buemi, who finished third alongside team-mates Anthony Davidson and Stephane Sarrazin at Silverstone, said the gap between Audi and Toyota had been exaggerated.

"We were not able to fight for the win; nevertheless it [was] a solid start to the season considering we used the 2012 car," Buemi said.

"We knew Audi had improved its performance with the new car so we could not expect to be the fastest, but we have lots we can learn from [the] weekend.

"We will move forward and improve for the second race; I can't wait for Spa."

Toyota will only field one example of its latest car at Spa, for Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima.

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Author Sam Tremayne
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