Toyota Gazoo Racing head to Austin, Texas, this weekend, for the second North American round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of the Circuit of the Americas.
The team travelled direct to Austin from Mexico City to prepare for the sixth round of the 2017 season. Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi finished on the podium here a year ago and are looking to repeat that feat, together with José María López, their team-mate in the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, who is making his debut at the Circuit of the Americas.
There is a change in the line-up for the No8 Toyota, with British driver Anthony Davidson not making the trip to Austin for personal reasons. His place alongside Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima will be taken on a one-off basis by Stéphane Sarrazin.
The team suffered a tough race in Mexico, with downforce issues resulting in third and fourth places.
Conway is looking for better results at a venue he enjoys: “I am looking forward to Austin because it is one of my favourite events on the calendar. The track is fun to drive, with a really fast first sector. We have had strong results there in the past and all the team are motivated to fight back strongly after a disappointing race in Mexico,” he said.
The problems encountered last time out should not recur in Texas, with the circuit sitting at a much lower altitude. The team’s aim is to add a first victory to the three podiums they have already scored at the track.
After three years as a day/night race, the event reverts to becoming a daytime contest. Because of this, high heat and humidity are expected to present a challenge to the drivers, with conditions likely to be at their most intense soon after the noon start on Saturday (16 September).