WEC: Mike Conway and Toyota Gazoo Racing end season on Bahrain podium

23rd November 2015

MB Partners driver Mike Conway and his Toyota GAZOO Racing team returned to the podium in a thrilling Six Hours of Bahrain on Saturday (21 November), the final round of the 2015 World Endurance Championship, finishing in third after qualifying in sixth.

Mike claimed the third place podium in the No2 TS040 Hybrid alongside Stéphane Sarrazin and Alex Wurz. It was the team’s first top-three finish since the opening round of the season at Silverstone.

The event proved another reliable race for the TS040 Hybrid and the team profited in the Bahrain heat while some of its rivals encountered problems.

The race began in bright sunshine with Wurz in sixth behind the sister car. As half distance approached, the second-placed No8 Audi needed 15 minutes of repairs which lifted Mike’s car into a podium position, followed closely by the sister car.

Despite a busy track and plenty of incidents, both TS040 Hybrids kept up a strong pace. The two Toyotas established themselves in a clear third and fourth, closing out the final two hours with consistent lap times and crossing the line together, separated by only 1.177secs.

Toyota finished the year third in the manufacturers’ World Championship.

Mike Conway commented on the race: “It’s obviously great to be on the podium. It was a tough day of fighting with the sister car. I enjoyed it and we came out on top in the end. But we had to push all the way as it was a close battle. Alex and Stéph did a great job all day. It’s a fantastic way to end the season and gives us a good push for next year when hopefully we will be on the podium many more times. I am looking forward to that.”

Toshio Sato, Team President, added: “It was great to finally fight for a podium again; this was a nice way to finish a difficult season and it gives us added motivation for the winter. We want to be battling at the front every race. That is the expectation for next year and everyone is already working hard to achieve this. Thanks to the team for a perfect job which brought a nice reward today. I also would like to sincerely congratulate Brendon, Mark and Timo on winning the drivers’ World Championship. They have been very strong all season and deserve to enjoy this moment.”

The Bahrain race brought the curtain down on the TS040 Hybrid era. It competed in 16 races over two seasons, with five race wins among 14 podium finishes, most of which came during its double World Championship-winning season in 2014.

It will be succeeded by an all-new car for 2016 which will start testing early next year prior to its first public appearance during the Prologue test at Paul Ricard in March.


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