Le Mans 24 Hour - Wurz among Toyota Le Mans line-up

Tue, 08 Nov 01:58:00 2011

Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima have been named as Toyota's LMP1 driver line-up for next year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

2012 24 Heures du Mans Toyota - 0

The Japanese manufacturer is making a return to the top level of sportscar racing after dropping out in the 1990s and will also contest other selected World Endurance Championship rounds.

Twice Le Mans winner Wurz moves across from Peugeot's prototype campaign.

"As soon as I heard about the possibility to join the team I was instantly excited and keen to be involved," said Wurz.

"I love endurance racing and I have been a fan of Le Mans since my childhood so I have great memories of Toyotas competing there, particularly the GT-One which was a really sexy, cool-looking car.

"As an ambitious Le Mans racer, this heritage combined with the immense technical capabilities at TMG makes a very attractive combination."

Lapierre has raced ORECA sportscars for the last four years and believes Toyota's hybrid system can deliver results.

"To be selected by a company like Toyota for such a new and interesting project is a proud moment for me," said Lapierre. "We are at the beginning of a big challenge and I am very excited.

"TMG has some very impressive capabilities and, together with the hybrid system, we have the potential to develop a really strong car.

"I am interested to experience the hybrid system for the first time; this adds a different aspect to our challenge and we have to consider some different strategic factors.

"It's great to be involved at the beginning with this technology and I hope it will give us a performance advantage."

Former Williams driver Nakajima returned to domestic racing in his native Japan this year after losing his Formula One seat in 2009.

"To return to Le Mans, and to take part in this new championship, means a lot to Toyota so I am very honoured to be a part of it," said Nakajima.

"Le Mans will be a new experience for me but it is one I am very much looking forward to. The challenge of Le Mans is famous throughout motorsport so I can't wait to race there for the first time.

"Obviously it is a new experience but I am familiar with endurance racing thanks to my time in Japanese Super GT and this will help me to adjust."

The car will make its track debut early in 2012.


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