Shanghai showdown for Toyota

Shanghai showdown for Toyota

Oct 31, 2016 By Toyota Australia.

Toyota is optimistic as it heads to China this weekend.

Toyota is optimistic as it heads to China this weekend.

Toyota Gazoo Racing is aiming for maximum points in China this weekend in its quest to secure the driver’s title in the 2016 World Endurance Championship.

Victory in the previous race at Fuji Speedway in Japan has lifted Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi to just 23 points off the lead in their TS050 Hybrid #6 race car.

A maximum of 52 points are up for grabs in the last two races of the 2016 season – Sunday’s 6 Hours of Shanghai and the 6 Hours of Bahrain on November 19.

Competition is expected to remain extremely close with the two most recent races having three different manufacturers on the podium, separated by less than 30 seconds after six hours of racing.

Conway said he was looking forward to the challenge of trying to catch the championship leaders from Porsche by posting strong results in the final two races.

“This weekend is really important for us because we are still in the fight for the world championship,” he said. “We will keep fighting until the end of the season.”

Teammate Sarrazin said: “After our win in Fuji, I am really excited to race in China and fight for another good result, particularly with the championship still open.”

Toyota has a strong record at the 5.451km Shanghai International Circuit, winning the race in 2012 and 2014 and achieving two other podium finishes.

Toyota’s second car, the #5 TS050 Hybrid shared by Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, heads to Shanghai targeting a first podium of the season.

Toyota Gazoo Racing faces a busy preparation in China to optimise the set-up of the TS050 Hybrid on its first visit to Shanghai.

Grid positions, which include a point for pole, will be decided on Saturday while the race begins at 11am on Sunday (2pm AEDT).