TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Presents 2024 WEC Activity Team Setups

20 Nov. 2023 • 10:37
Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) announced on November 20 its race entry structure for the 2024 World Championship season.
© Toyota Media

In the Hypercar category of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Nyck de Vries will join the team as a new driver of car #7 for the 2024 season which will see a number of new rivals participate. Under the leadership of Team Principal Kamui Kobayashi, the team will aim to secure both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ double for a sixth year in succession.


TGR will continue its practice of making ever-better motorsports-bred cars and pursuing activities to enhance the appeal and sustainability of motorsports.


2024 racing team setups


<FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)>

In 2024, we will continue to race in the Hypercar category (LMH class), which is the top class of the WEC, with a two-vehicle team as we aim to win the championship. TGR will enter with the GR010 HYBRID, fitted with RACING HYBRID technology that has been advanced during WEC competition. The team will be based at TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe GmbH (TGR-E) in Cologne, Germany.


The driver lineup will include Nyck de Vries as the new driver of car #7. Nyck was a test and reserve driver for the TGR WEC team from 2020-2022. Having continued to gain experience in a variety of categories, Nyck will join us again as an even stronger driver. José María López, who has competed in the WEC for many years with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing since 2017, will switch from the Hypercar class from the 2024 season to compete in the WEC LMGT3 class with Team Akkodis ASP.This activity is TGR's support for Team Akkodis ASP as part of customer motorsports to achieve sustainable motorsports. He will be responsible for team and car development and will support young and gentleman drivers. He will make use of the many years of experience he has gained in the Hypercar class and continue to aim to achieve sustainable motorsports as a member of the TGR family.


The reserve driver will be Ritomo Miyata, who won both the Japanese Super Formula Championship (SF) and SUPER GT500 class in the 2023 season.


[WEC Team Principal & Drivers' Comments]


Kamui Kobayashi:


"In motorsport, things are constantly evolving and it’s the same with driver line-ups. On car #7, Mike, José and me drove together since 2017, which is a really long time in any category. We enjoyed some amazing moments together, but also some tough times, particularly at Le Mans. I would like to thank José for his massive contribution, as a driver and a team-mate. He will always be a part of our TOYOTA GAZOO Racing family. At the same time, it is exciting to welcome Nyck back to the team as part of the #7 crew. We know from his time as our Test and Reserve Driver, plus his other racing, how quick and consistent he is. Next season again we have a top driver line-up in both cars, and this will be important when we face even more competitors in Hypercar. I am sure we will grow stronger together as a team over the winter, ready for the new challenge."


Mike Conway:


"I am looking forward to the new season, which should be even more intense and exciting. There are mixed emotions to be honest, because I have enjoyed six seasons working with José and we had lots of good times together, lots of wins. We became more than team-mates; we became true friends and that’s something I cherish. But I am happy to welcome Nyck to the #7 car next season and looking forward to driving with him. He’s a top driver and a team player so I am sure we will work well together. I can’t wait to get started."


Nyck de Vries:


"I am super excited to be returning to endurance racing, especially with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. Endurance racing is something that I have always enjoyed and it is a discipline with incredible momentum at the moment. I was with the team in a different role for a few years but never got the chance to race, so it is great that the time has now arrived, and I want to thank the team for their continuous support and faith in me. I am very much looking forward to sharing car #7 with both Mike and Kamui. They are both very talented drivers who achieved a lot, and I am sure we will make a great team."


Sébastien Buemi:


"I am extremely happy to come back to WEC again next season with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. We have been racing together since 2012, which is an incredibly long time for a driver to race with one team. It’s like a family to me and I feel privileged to be part of it. It’s great to again race alongside Ryo and Brendon. We won back-to-back championships together, plus a win and second place at Le Mans, so we have enjoyed some special moments. I hope we can continue to get stronger, and succeed, together. I can’t wait to go to Qatar and get the season started. Bring it on."


Brendon Hartley:


"It’s a great feeling to be continuing with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing going into what should be a really tough, exciting season in Hypercar. I am really proud to be part of this team, and to drive alongside Sébastien and Ryo in the #8 car. We have grown so much together as a driver crew over the past years and enjoyed some incredible moments. Of course, we will give our all to win a hat-trick of World Championships together as well as the big one, Le Mans. With the new competitors coming to WEC next season, the task is harder than ever but we’ll give it our all."


Ryo Hirakawa:


"I am excited to continue the challenge with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in WEC in 2023, and I’m delighted to continue with Sébastien and Brendon in the #8 car. This will be my third season in the team, and my third driving alongside them in the #8, and so far it has been a very special experience. We won the drivers’ championship two years in a row, and won Le Mans in 2022, and I am sure there is more to come. Next season will be even more challenging than ever but I am really looking forward to fighting to defend our title and aim for victory at Le Mans."


<Driver cultivation (TGR WEC Challenge Program)>


To realize a sustainable motorsports industry, the WEC Challenge Program aims to develop and produce drivers who can compete in the future FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).


Ritomo Miyata, who competed in the 2023 All-Japan Super Formula Championship (SF) and the Super GT500 class, winning both championships and becoming the youngest-ever double champion at 24, will continue participating in the program this year.


Miyata will be a reserve driver for the TGR WEC team starting in the 2024 season and will also compete in the Formula 2 and European Le Mans Series.


The "WEC Challenge Program Special Training" for young entry-level drivers will continue in 2024. This program aims to have young drivers experience the world's most prestigious races, broaden their horizons by gaining experience overseas, and produce world-class competitors.


Ritomo Miyata:


"First of all, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Morizo and everyone at TGR for giving me the opportunity to drive in FIA-F2 and ELMS. I have been selected as a training driver for the WEC Challenge Program starting in 2023, which has given me more opportunities to travel to Europe with the team and participate in Hypercar simulator tests with TGR-E. Everyone has been very supportive of my desire to be active worldwide. In that sense, I want to live up to everyone's expectations, and it makes me feel once again that I want to continue to work with a sense of gratitude. I am also very honored to have been chosen as a reserve driver for the TGR-WEC team. I’m thrilled that such an opportunity has come my way. I would like to thank Morizo, President Sato, and everyone at TGR for giving me this opportunity, as well as everyone on the European team. I want to prepare well so that I can contribute to the team whenever and however I am asked to race."


Kazuki Nakajima (Vice Chairman, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe):


"As the WEC Challenge Program has been selecting training drivers since last year and planning Miyata's activities for 2024, I am happy that these opportunities for F2 and ELMS were made possible, and I would like to thank all those involved. In particular, his participation in F2 was made possible by Morizo's encouragement and support of Hirakawa's opportunity to become a McLaren reserve driver along with Miyata’s own achievements in 2023. This is a great opportunity for Miyata to gain experience in both formula and endurance racing and will open up many possibilities beyond that, depending on how hard he works. I am very happy for what the program will do in 2024, and it makes me brace myself up. We must make this program open up various opportunities. I want to create a system that allows experienced drivers to give feedback to younger drivers, just as José will be driving in WEC GT3. I would also like to make this program a collaboration among various bases to create an environment where not only Japanese drivers but also many other drivers can challenge themselves."


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