Toyota celebrates historic fifth successive 24 Hours of Le Mans victory

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Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. World Endurance Championship. Le Mans 24 Hours Race Le Mans Circuit, France 6th to 12th June 2022

GAZOO Racing achieves a spectacular one-two victory with its GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercars

Dubai, UAE: GAZOO Racing stormed to victory recently in the 90th Le Mans 24 Hours to extend its winning run to five in a row at the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe. Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, and Ryo Hirakawa drove a brilliant race in the No. 8 GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar, completing 380 laps to take the chequered flag in front of a passionate crowd. 

The team’s fourth one-two finish at the iconic event was completed by last year’s winners, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and José María López in the No. 7 GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar, which crossed the line just 2 minutes and 1.222 seconds behind in second place. Buemi’s fourth win sets a new victory record for Swiss drivers, while Hartley’s third triumph makes him New Zealand’s most successful Le Mans driver.

The two GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercars outclassed the field throughout and engaged in a close battle at the front, with the lead changing hands several times as the race ebbed and flowed with traffic, slow zones, and track evolution all coming into play. The contest continued for 16 hours, with the two cars running just a few seconds apart for most of this time. 

The complexion of the race changed decisively during lap 256 when Buemi gained the upper hand in the No. 8 GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar following an extended pit stop from José María López in the No. 7 GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar. Brendon Hartley had the honor of taking the chequered flag to win the 90th Le Mans 24 Hours, with López following soon after to complete a grueling 5,177km of racing. The result earned double points towards the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship, placing GAZOO Racing on top of the manufacturers’ standings after three races.

Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, commented: “Congratulations to car No. 8, and thank you to car No. 7 for being part of this 1-2 finish! This year, Le Mans was a 1-2 race from the beginning to the end. From the start for 16 hours they were competing, racing within a few seconds with each other. I would like to thank our six drivers. In addition, Kamui also took on the role of Team Principal at Le Mans for the first time. I really appreciate him taking such important roles.” 

Toyoda continued: “Car building and team building are endless battles, please continue to encourage a team feeling. GAZOO Racing was able to win Le Mans five times in a row. Thank you to our many, many fans and partners who continue to fight together. I really appreciate all your continuous support.”

Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Toyota’s participation in these events was overseen by separate entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established GR to consolidate all of its motorsports activities under one in-house brand. Representing Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,’ GR highlights the role of motorsports as a fundamental pillar of Toyota’s commitment to making ‘ever-better’ cars. Harnessing years of experience gained under the extreme conditions of motorsports events, GR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.

The World Endurance Championship returns with the 6 Hours of Monza in Italy on 10 July.

Race Notes:

  • No. 8 GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar (Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa)
  • Position: 1st   
  • No. of Laps: 380
  • No. 7 GR010 Hybrid Electric Hypercar (Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López)
  • Position: 2nd 
  • No. of Laps: 380 (+2 mins 1.222 secs)

About Al-Futtaim Toyota

Toyota, a Japanese automotive manufacturer founded in 1937, is the world’s market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles. Toyota has been exclusively distributed in the UAE by Al-Futtaim Automotive, part of Al-Futtaim Group, for over six decades, and has been leading the sustainable mobility movement since 2008. 

With a large line-up of vehicles ranging from SUV, compact, sedan, coupe, MPV and LCV, as well as a wide range of Hybrid options, Al-Futtaim Toyota is setting new benchmarks for clean motoring in an effort to actively contribute to a lower carbon footprint in the UAE. 2017 saw the introduction of the zero-emission hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Toyota Mirai, in a pilot aiming at studying the possibilities of establishing a hydrogen-based, carbon-free society.

Toyota’s line-up features several hybrid vehicles including the sporty, practical and environmentally friendly RAV4, the C-HR, an innovative compact SUV, the seven-seater Highlander which is the brands biggest HEV to date, the powerful and efficient Corolla and the sleek and sophisticated Camry. 

In September 2019, after a 17-year wait, Al-Futtaim Toyota launched the new 2020 Toyota GR Supra in the UAE, much to the delight of fans and loyalists across the country. With the all-new fifth-generation model, the legendary name returned to set the roads ablaze with a comeback only fitting of the Toyota Supra story, with the 2021 version launching a year later in October 2020. 

In August 2020 Al-Futtaim Toyota shook up the lifestyle pickup segment with the introduction of the all-new eighth-generation Toyota Hilux Adventure. This was the first time ever that the Hilux is available as a retail model in the UAE, meaning that it is no longer limited to dominating the commercial-use sector.

About Al-Futtaim Automotive

Al-Futtaim Automotive, one of the main five operating divisions within the UAE-based Al-Futtaim Group of companies, is a conglomerate of motoring-related businesses, franchising some of the world’s most-recognized automotive brands and services.

Operating in 10 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa and empowered by around 9,000 associates, the UAE-headquartered Group’s services span across distribution of new and used vehicles, manufacturing, leasing, and aftersales.

Ranging from passenger cars to SUVs, commercial vehicles, industrial and construction equipment as well as motorbikes and quads, Al-Futtaim Automotive Group offers an integrative customer-centric experience for motorists, fleet operators and contractors alike, and strives to become the leader in tailor-made mobility solutions.

About Al-Futtaim Group

Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim today is one of the most diversified and progressive, privately held regional businesses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Structured into five operating divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate, retail, and health; employing more than 35,000 employees across more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, we partner with over 200 of the world’s most admired and innovative brands. 

Al-Futtaim’s entrepreneurship and relentless customer focus enables the organisation to continue to grow and expand; responding to the changing needs of our customers within the societies in which we operate.

By upholding our values of respect, excellence, collaboration, integrity; Al-Futtaim continues to enrich the lives and aspirations of our customers each and every day.